For a world eager to see India and Pakistan climb down from a
standoff that has included the threat of war between nuclear-armed
rivals, India has one request: Wait and see.
Pakistan's decision to arrest the alleged architect of the Nov.
26 attacks in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is seen as a positive step.
As is the announcement Wednesday that Pakistan would abide by a
United Nations resolution outlawing Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity
accused of being a terrorist front.
But Pakistan has repeatedly cracked down on militants, only for
its resolve to vanish when international pressure fades. In coming
days, India will look for "assurance that this is not something
being done only for cosmetic reasons," says C. Raja Mohan, a
security analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International
Studies in Singapore.
Shutting down militant camps that are an "open secret" in
Pakistan, according to one American analyst, would be a start, Mr.
Mohan says. So would charging the detained militant leaders with
crimes and putting them on trial, even in Pakistan.
Many in India's Army and intelligence agencies want more.
Pakistan should hand over individuals who have clear links to
terrorism or risk "military action to show them how serious we are,"
says Brig. Gen. Gurmeed Kanval, director of the Center for Land
Warfare Studies, a think tank in New Delhi.
The Times of India reported Wednesday that the Indian Air Force
is on "high alert" and has reduced the number of personnel on leave
from 30 percent to 10 percent. India: trying not to lose face
Caught between an agitated Army and an angry populace, the Indian
government realizes it is in "a bit of a box," says Paul Kapur, a
South Asia expert who teaches at Stanford University and the Naval
Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
Military strikes will only empower the Pakistani Army - the
institution that is most hostile to India and began using militants
to strike India in the first place. Yet Pakistan's problems are so
deeply rooted and its 10-month-old civilian government so weak, that
diplomacy can offer only slow progress. It could take years to
strengthen Pakistan's civilian government to the point that it can
control the Army and the militants it nurtured.
"The long term is hard to stomach - systematic changes will take
time," says Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist at Jawaharlal Nehru
University in New Delhi. "In the short-to-medium term we have to do
something about Pakistan ... [or the] government will lose face
internally," he adds.
Recent elections in India have calmed the situation somewhat. The
ruling Congress Party fared better than the more hawkish Bharatiya
Janata Party in three of five states, suggesting that voters were
not motivated by the desire for revenge against Pakistan.
Moreover, Pakistan has begun to respond to some of India's
concerns this week. Raids nabbed Zahi-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the
operations commander of the militant outfit linked to the Mumbai
"Four days ago, no one would have visualized that [Pakistani
President Asif Ali] Zardari would do something," says Mohan, the
On Wednesday, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN also said that
Pakistan would proscribe Jamaat-ud-Dawa if asked to by the UN. …