A Catastrophe: Our elders said: Your neighbour is your next of kin. Indeed, all Pakistanis are deeply grieved by the tragedy that has befallen India in Mumbai's carnage - we equally share the sorrow of our neighbours - that is the depth of humanity explicit in Pakistani culture and Muslim teachings. The Responsibility: But we cannot bury their dead in our graves. India alone must honour its departed and be solely responsible for making sure that such calamity does not occur again to any of its citizenry - neither to Hindus nor to India's minorities, including a sizeable Muslim population that has been known to have been targeted by fundamentalist Hindu groups for decades. Sympathy: By the same token of humanitarian standards and human emotions, we, the Pakistanis, grieve the blood-letting of Kashmiri Muslims and their political oppression that has been going on for the last sixty years at the hands of successive governments in Delhi and the Indian army. The Questions: Shouldn't we (all of humanity) grieve for Kashmiris for the same reason? Are we, Pakistanis, mistaken, misled, irrational or politically incorrect in expressing our sorrow for them? Does a British, American or Indian victim of terror deserve global mourning, whereas a hundred-thousand Muslim victims of state-terror (in Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere) are ignored as an inconsequential result of incidents of history and Realpolitik - and quietly buried under the dust...without a name, without a tear, without a sigh and without protesting or grieving, as if nothing has happened? The Existential Question: As human beings, how do we justify such political, moral, emotional and spiritual failure? On issues concerning human existence, the justification cannot be political expediency (this is how it goes in Realpolitik) - it must be based on some kind of higher moral-political paradigm - or else all humanity is likely to fall victim to the cruelties of terror - state-terror to be more precise. Political Retardation: Hasn't this been the political history of human existence for centuries? And haven't we been witnessing this assault of state-terror against humanity in the 21st century global politics? The powerful devouring the weak - injustice justified by moral-political retardation The fabrication of political expediency in pursuit of bloodthirsty agendas in absolute denial of reality and truth Metaphor: Metaphorically, the historic political tendency and human behavioural propensity to deny reality as it is leading the present-day world from one crisis to another and the multiplication of human failures to resolve expanding internal and external conflicts within many nations and in the entirety of the nation-state system. Embankment: In the context of my argument, consider the American attack on Iraq and Afghanistan. These two wars represent the 21st century's most conspicuous examples of reality turned into fabricated political strategic doctrine suited to a superpower's political-economic domination agenda as a one-sided psychotic, delirious and destructive conflict inflicted on these two nations. Indeed, we are aware that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) nor was Iraq involved in any way with the 9/11 incident. By the same token, Osama is not an Afghani citizen, nor was he politically or militarily trained by the Afghani political establishment. Bin Laden was produced and trained as a counter-revolutionary figure of the 1980s to do American bidding and fighting in pursuit of the US fabricated threats of a left-wing communist-leaning Afghanistan politically aligned to the then Soviet Union. Contagion: The end result of this state-terror inflicted savagery is that terrorist outfits have emerged everywhere and intra-nation conflicts are mushrooming. However, state-terror strategists everywhere have attributed suicide-bombings and acts of terrorism to some kind of undefined (termed as extremism) mental retardation of a segment of society (mostly in Muslim nations). In fact, the entire spectrum of violence, in reality, is an ultimate reaction to the desperation and hopelessness against organised state-terror. An Example: Take Pakistan's example. In Pakistan, contemporary state-terror was engineered by a former general at the behest of the US. Manmohan Singh's India: Contemporary India is no exception to this US-Western led imprudent state-terror doctrine. Terrorism within India, in defiance of all evidence, is being pinned on so-called "Muslim extremism" (in general) and the remedy prescribed is the escalation of military solutions instead of political reform, an urgently needed spirit of political tolerance and a political accommodation of distraught groups. India is giving inhumane solutions to human issues. Political Immortality: Manmohan Singh, the Indian PM, is basically a decent man - he is philosophical, contemplative, wise, calm, and does not say much - but his political acts speak loudly for him. The Indian PM, in spite of his stoical nature, is strictly impulsive, ambitious and seems to be seeking personal political and historical immortality - by a quest to attain a superpower status for India. Given such a state-of-mind, reality denial is a natural consequence in the political behaviour of a leader such as Manmohan Singh - after all, he is as human as anyone else, but the trouble is that others consider him larger than life - the expectations are of performing miracles that simply will not happen. The Argument: My argument is simple: Singh wants India to dominate South Asian politics. He sees India (at least in his own sordid imagination) as a competitor to China's growing political prestige, economic power and world status. What is being perceived by the Indian PM as India's place in the global political arena is pretty much how the Hindu Indian majority and its overall political establishment view their country. The Denial: The trouble is neither Singh nor the overwhelming Hindu majority nor its entire political establishment are perceptually and politically correct. The fact is that India is in denial of its present political ground realities. Undoubtedly, India is still a poor country, distorted with glaring economic inequalities, sociological disparities, political oppression and has experienced growing Hindu majority extremism and violence against its minorities for decades now. The US and the West have kept a lid on the media not to expose Indian sectarian violence and brewing socio-political unrest for strategic and tactical reasons. The West is working on an Indian image-promoting strategy to prepare it by psychological manipulation and media projections to endorse US-Western interests vis--vis China and in the rest of South East Asia and the Central Asian Islamic States. And yet, the hard and unfortunate fact remains that India is plagued by its Hindu majority extremism, violence and its economically fractured socio-economic existential reality. Counter-Productive: Pinning hasty blame entirely on Muslim so-called "extremism" and Pakistan's alleged involvement in Mumbai's terrorist attacks will only be counter-productive for India. Manmohan Singh must concentrate on neutralising growing Hindu extremism and push for nationwide sociological-economic reforms in his country preferably on a Chinese developmental model rather than the Western capitalistic framework. In absolute truth, this is precisely the challenge that today's India is facing. A media projected US-West sponsored world status for India will not alleviate its real issues of public poverty, internal terrorism, Hindu extremism and violence against the minority populations. A Must: India can possibly deny Kashmiri Muslims self-determination for some more time but it cannot do it indefinitely. History has taught us that suppression cannot kill the will of people nor can oppression prevail forever. If Singh wishes for political immortality, the best thing he can do is to prepare India for an independent Kashmir - this is how the PM can transform the Indian myth of democracy and political spiritualism into a living reality - a success of India's democracy and its self-confidence. Kashmir's right to self-determination is a must for Indian internal peace and its ascendancy to a democratic global leadership. Perhaps Manmohan should study some Yogi wisdom. It is of a nation's self-deception and moral defeat to flagrantly deny reality. Would you agree, PM Manmohan Singh? Caution: Sabre-rattling on both sides of the divide, India and Pakistan, on the Mumbai carnage will only benefit traditional ruling elites in both countries. Use your imagination... Sum-up: Steer your nation away from conflict. Peace will serve your nation a lot better than war - that is how a Yogi would sum-up a sermon on relations between nations. Rightly so The writer is a professor, political analyst and a conflict-resolution specialist. E-mail: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com