Judging from the confrontational attitude, harsh rhetoric, reckless criticism and the vindictive mindset, it appears that the bigwigs of the Indian Establishment are less interested in uncovering the facts and more inclined towards using the Mumbai tragedy to bully and browbeat Pakistan and tarnish its image at the international level. To begin with, India promptly dropped the ongoing composite dialogue, threatened to launch surgical strikes and use other punitive measures to discipline Pakistan. Its leaders accuse Pakistan of not fulfilling its commitments, not acting on the dossier, issuing flat denials and using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. India has no extradition treaty with Pakistan, yet it insists that the November suspects be handed over to it. Its print and electronic media is fervently engaged in whipping up war hysteria. It continues to ignore Pakistan's standing offer of joint investigation for fear that it may reveal loopholes. Bharat knows that her much trumpeted 'evidence' is nothing more than shoddy and superficial 'information'. It is ready to snap all business, transport and tourist ties should Pakistan fail to cooperate. Raj Thackeray's goons are already busy burning CD's of Pakistani artists, banning sale of books by Pakistani authors and sending death threats to Pakistan's envoy. It has stepped up its propaganda campaign to malign Pakistan and push the US into declaring it a terrorist state. The multi-pronged exercise is, in fact, meant to impress upon Pakistan that India is a regional supremo and the former must kow-tow to it. India's supercilious attitude is not new. The Quaid-i-Azam, for instance, had discovered this mean streak decades ago. In an answer to a question by a Swiss journalist whether there was any hope of Pakistan and India coming to a peaceful settlement of disputes and differences on very vital and important matters, he said: "Yes, provided the Indian government will shed the superiority complex and will deal with Pakistan on an equal footing and fully appreciate the realities." Four months earlier in an interview to Duncan Hooper, Correspondent of Reuter, the Quaid had said: "We are always ready to come to an understanding or enter into agreements with Hindustan as two independent, equal, sovereign States. But all this propaganda and agitation, all the threats that are held out by prominent Congress speakers are not likely to restore goodwill and friendly relations between the two states." The Quaid's observations on India's pretentious attitude and unsavoury conduct are as fresh and relevant today as they were some sixty years ago. The aforesaid ills have multiplied since the Indo-US nuclear deal, the pampering and support of the US neo-cons and its intimate nexus with Israel and the Zionist lobby. This heady concoction has given a further boost to her hegemonic ambitions and a comic dimension to her irrepressible desire to play the regional policeman. The Mumbai affair appears to have furnished India with yet another 'unique opportunity' to settle old scores. The exaggerated hullabaloo following the event has a definite purpose-namely, to humiliate Pakistan and bring her down a peg or two. Or bulldoze her into becoming a 'client-state' like Bhutan or Nepal. What else can Pakistan expects from a Congress government which "impelled by a jingoistic illusion," strove even in 1947 to put "an end to the existence of Pakistan by what they thought would be a walk over or mere police action. Patel, regarded a strong man of India, even went to the length of declaring on one occasion that if India were so minded she could sweep up to Peshawar. When this was seen to be impossible, Hindu militarism created the myth of military danger from Pakistan and battened itself on it" (Nirad C Chaudhri's book titled Continent of Circe). Fifteen years later, Hindu jingoism again drove India into open conflict with China. Everyone knows how the skirmish ended. Jingoism can indeed play havoc and unleash the dogs of war. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not - yet - succumbed to the shrieks of the Congress hawks or to the clamour of the xenophobic rabble-rousers of the Bharatiya Janata Party but has not desisted from launching a psychological and diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. The matter is clear-cut: both countries should try and get to the bottom of the case and punish those involved in the carnage. The government of Pakistan is totally focused on the issue. A number of suspects from the Lashkar-e-Taiba have been rounded up. The probe has been put on the 'fast track'. A team of experts has been constituted to conduct a transparent and legally tenable inquiry. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has assured that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. India has no reasons to doubt Pakistan's intention or describe the inquiry as 'eyewash'. David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, on a recent visit categorically stated that the State of Pakistan was not involved in the terrorist attack. He praised Pakistan's resolve never to allow the use of its territory against any country. Miliband also lauded Pakistan's balanced and gentlemanly response in contrast to India's crude emotional outbursts. The foreign diplomats briefed recently were entirely satisfied with the rate of progress and of the considered view that the two countries should jointly investigate the Mumbai attacks. What else does India want? If it is really keen on rooting out terrorism, it must work in tandem with Pakistan. To begin with, it must resolve the Kashmir issue which has hung fire for the last six decades. India has always dodged the issue. It wants Pakistan to forget Kashmir and hates to see it referred to as a disputed territory. No wonder its leaderships was cut to the quick when David Miliband stated that an early resolution of the Kashmir dispute was imperative as it was the root cause of terrorism. India's frenzied reaction could be gauged from the fact that Manmohan Singh, the Indian premier, instantly dashed off a letter of protest to Mr Gordon Brown, the British prime minister. No matter what its hang-ups, Bharat must recognise what the rest of the world does - namely, that Kashmir is disputed territory. Election gimmickry, extravagant claims, Mumbai melodrama and political abracadabra will not extinguish the mighty flame that is Kashmir. It is time India shed its delusions of grandeur, rid itself of the Ashoka syndrome, reined in its vaulting ambitions and curbed its ingrained propensity for intransigence. Pakistan is seriously engaged in ferreting out the truth. It has offered India unreserved cooperation but the latter rejects every overture of harmony and goodwill. Sixty days have passed since the Mumbai carnage but India has shown no flexibility in its stance. On the contrary, it is building pressure and doing its utmost to paint Pakistan as an irresponsible state. India must clearly understand that its Machiavellian stratagems like economic blockade, global isolation, regional encirclement and covert operations will not work and hurl it once again in the Slough of Despond. Fence mending is the need of the hour. India should rise above its legacy of hostility and distrust, set aside its pathological prejudices, rid itself of false pride and clearly demonstrate its willingness to settle disputes through dialogue and discussion. Pakistan is a state with nuclear capability and possesses vital geo-strategic importance. Perpetual sabre-rattling and hawkishness could lead to a clash of arms and even to a clash of apocalyptic proportions. India must heed the tocsin and dump the hubris that holds reason prisoner. Pakistan loves peace; but not peace at any price. In case war is thrust upon it, it shall, of course, adhere to Henry V's classic advice: "But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of a tiger, Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage." The writer is an ex-professor, Government College, Lahore E-mail: rashidahmedkhan00@yahoo.com