The right response to these attacks for the leaders of both Pakistan and India is not to cast blame on each other’s government but to foster a spirit of solidarity. In turn, Pakistan must go the extra mile to establish a clear break between terrorists and the rest of Pakistani society and government.
Terrorist attacks in India spring from a complex and combustible mix of indigenous discontent, tensions in Kashmir, the pervasive hand of al-Q’aida, and fraught Indo-Pakistan relations. As the dust settles from the Mumbai attacks, it is an open question as to which direction the apportionment of blame and pursuit of the perpetrators may head.
US policy towards Pakistan is inextricably tied up with its activities in Afghanistan, and Obama cannot afford to ignore it. If he is to have any hope of mending the US’s troubled relationship with the state, a fundamental reassessment of the situation is essential.
Devoid of full context and without appropriate perspective, it is all too easy to view the problems in Afghanistan as insurmountable, the adversary as invincible and the mission as doomed. A credible assessment can be achieved if viewed in the long-term.