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Kamala Sarup: Delhi Bombing &Peace In South Asia

Delhi Bombing And Peace In South Asia

By Kamala Sarup

One does not think of South Asia as a front line region in the global war on terror. Yet, the recent bombing in Delhi and terror activities in the region have recently attracted the attention of the world, among others concerning terrorist and border security issues. Why?

We must remember there is this much small arms trafficking (some involving quite sophisticated small arms), there is a strong suspicion that outside terrorists will eventually attempt to move in and either take advantage of the situation or join forces with the existing insurgents to form a Maoist/Islamist coalition for mutual benefit.

Various analysts have also pointed out that there is at least the potential for such international terrorist groups as al Qaida to use a "northern corridor" stretching from in the west . This route was, and probably still is, used by various drug-smuggling groups. The fear is that al Qaida or some different terrorists groups like maoists group will use the same route to eventually smuggle nuclear material for use against the West, financing their activities with these same drug-smuggling activities along the way. Please note that India and Nepal lies astride this route.

It is true, enormous progress has been made in the Jammu-Kashmir negotiations in the last 18 months. All parties, including China, which has not interfered, are to be congratulated. India and Pakistan are to be congratulated and further encouraged to continue this process after dealing the with tragic effects of the recent huge earthquake centered in the Jammu-Kashmir area. It is also worthy of note that there has been very significant progress in cleaning up the border demarcation aftermath of the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962.

How these various interactions between Nepal and India, India and China, Nepal and Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United States vis a vis China and India play out will, of course, have a great influence on the peace and prosperity in South Asia.

Besides serving as a global outpost in the international war on terror, South Asia have other characteristics which lend themselves to a crucial role in regional affairs.

South Africa has perhaps provided almost the perfect model in addressing a polarized, racially-divided society with a legacy of bitter struggle for economic and political justice with its advocacy of a so-called "truth commission" method of exploring and healing past divisions. We see the same type of thing in Argentina and several Central American countries. These division-healing mechanisms seem to have worked well where there was a commitment from all the concerned parties to make it work.

How Can South Asian Countries Help each other in Its Hour of Need?

This is certainly fine as a principle, especially as a principle of the 20th Century. Now as both India and China assume their rightful roles as good Nations and Principal Actors on the world stage, the world is watching to see how they can cooperate in solving such a difficult and complex problem as region. An American journalist John Schab said recently.


Kamala Sarup is an editor of

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