My dear Muhammad Ali: When Obama was asked whether he thought India has the right to strike at the militants' bases in Pakistan - as he has said America would do if we didn't or couldn't eliminate them - he replied that every country has a right to defend itself. Quite. By the same token, Mr President-elect, Pakistan too has the right to defend itself. If India does strike we will strike back and strike back hard. Instead of advising them not to, the man is giving them license. Do we have another juvenile on our hands? Does he want to start a thermo nuclear World War? If 10 militants could hold 1,200 of India's much-vaunted elite commandoes at bay for four days, what would 1,200 militants do? They would flatten it. At a ratio of one militant to 120 Indian commandoes, India would require 144,000 commandoes to deal with them. They don't have them. No one has them. Have a heart man. More, it will force us to move our 100,000 troops to the Indian border from the Afghan border and leave it naked. The Taliban will block the two roads that transport 70 percent of vital NATO supplies to Afghanistan and are kept open by Pakistani soldiers. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban will then play merry hell into the NATO soldiers, and we know what that means. Is this what you want, Mr Barack Hussein Obama? Get over the fact that your father was a Muslim. It's not your fault. None of us fills out an application form before we are born requesting God to place us in a family with a particular religion. You and the Indians badly need a reality check, for you are both falling into the trap of the militants if you force us to relocate our troops to the Indian border, because this is exactly what they want. I've received much E-mail from Indians in response to my last article, some downright obscene and abusive. They should wait till my last article in this series and then respond. I will answer all worth answering in an article without revealing identities. As promised, here's more unsolicited advice for our Indian neighbours. You must have read Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot always began with the question: "Who benefits from the crime?" Not always - for there is often times the possibility of misadventure - but most of the time it leads to the real culprits. Who could possibly profit from the Mumbai mayhem? Not the Indian government, which is in the throes of elections. Not the state of Pakistan, which has enough troubles of its own with terrorism and extremism and is trying to climb out of a big economic hole. Not the Americans, for neither an Indo-Pakistan war nor any weakening of the Pakistani effort on the War On Terror would suit them. After such unconvincing accusations by your government, I believe the notion that America could take this to the UN Security Council to get a resolution passed to 'help' Pakistan eliminate terrorist bases is gone. Have you ever heard such irresponsible statements as your prime minister and particularly your foreign minister made? They didn't behave like statesmen but rabble-rousers, pandering to the lowest common denominator, while our foreign minister, who was in Delhi, behaved with measured calm and maturity, trying to cool the temperature. Could it be the ISI and/or the Pakistan army in order to derail the peace process? I don't think so, because they would know better than anyone that the process is going nowhere. Buses, trains, flights, cricket, song and dance make only the illusion of getting somewhere, like spot running gives the impression that one is running. The only real destination is an equitable solution to the Kashmir dispute, and that is nowhere in sight. So why would they? In fact, they know what most do not that it is the Indian military that has been creating hurdles in the peace process, not ours. You talk of retired "rogue elements" from our ISI and army. It is entirely possible that after retirement some of them get sympathetic to some of the militant groups, some of whom they regard as freedom fighters. But do you seriously think that they are competent enough to pull off something as big and complicated as this? Talking of rogues, I told you last week about Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit and his involvement with a Hindu fascist organisation in burning many Pakistanis alive in the misnamed 'Friendship Express'? He was also discovered to be involved in the series of bomb blasts in Malegaon, the Muslim town near Mumbai. The officer who uncovered his involvement and was searching further was Hemant Karkare, one of the first to be 'mistakenly' shot dead by the Indian commandoes as the Mumbai mayhem started. That his wife refused compensation by your government, accusing it of murdering her husband, speaks louder than words. Ask her to blame Pakistan or the Lashkar-e-Taiba. We'll see if she does. So who's the rogue? Now let's come to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), number one on your list of suspects. There's no hard evidence yet, but that doesn't mean it's not possible, for its purpose for existence is the liberation of Kashmir. LeT would definitely benefit from driving India and Pakistan to the brink if they think that the Kashmiris might be left high and hung out to dry. We have arrested most of their high command in Pakistan. Now where's the evidence with which we can prosecute them? I'm talking of hard evidence that would stand up in a court of law, not media jabber and political blather. Just asking for their extradition without a treaty or hard evidence amounts to attention diversion and playing to the gallery, nothing else. By the same token, we can ask for the extradition of L K Advani for conspiring to kill Mr Jinnah, the father of our nation (whom he later called a "great secular leader" when he visited Karachi a few years ago and had to resign as president of the Hindu fundamentalist BJP for saying so) and Lt Col Srikant Prohit for killing Pakistanis in the 'Friendship Express'. It seems to me that without a doubt the group that could benefit most from the Mumbai mayhem is the various Hindu fascist organisations whose political face is the BJP. With national elections looming, they could win if the Indian electorate decides that its government was inept and incompetent in protecting them against the militants who did the horrific Mumbai mayhem. You blame us for 'allowing' groups like LeT on our soil. They are not easy to eliminate, my dear recalcitrant neighbours. You have 96 militant groups in your country playing havoc. The top four or five are Hindu and have killed thousands of Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. How many have you been able to eliminate? LeT also has bases in Kashmir (you know, the portion occupied by you) and in India itself. Why have you not eliminated them? You will say that we started some of these groups and have now lost control. That happens. When we sided with America against Afghanistan, these groups turned on us. You started the Lanka Tamil Tigers (LTT) to break Sri Lanka, but they are not totally in your control now. When the Sri Lankan government asked us for help, you went ballistic and insisted on sending the Indian army to help the Sri Lankans fight the LTT that you had helped create in the first place - running with the hare and hunting with the hound, what? That is when the Tamils and the LTT turned against you, for being duplicitous. And that is what led to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. If the LTT succeeds in breaking Sri Lanka, they will then join the fight for the independence of Tamil Nadu to make a larger, more viable state. In order to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, America foisted (marketed?) the notion of jihad and created many freedom fighting guerilla groups that they then named mujahideen and now call 'Taliban', and Al-Qaeda too. Now jihad and the jihadis, Osama and Al-Qaeda are all out of their control and have become their nemesis. They introduced Osama bin Laden to his mentor Abdullah Azzam (who coined the name Al-Qaeda and is thought to have been later assassinated at Osama's behest) and to Ayman Al Zawahiri who was working as a doctor in a Peshawar hospital tending to injured mujahideen without a thought that he was Anwar Sadaat's murderer. Where is America's control now? Why don't they eliminate them? Does that mean that America is secretly involved in keeping Osama bin Laden alive and well to create justifications for them to intervene in various parts of the world? Or is that being childish? As I said, these things happen, but that doesn't mean the government or state of Pakistan or its army or intelligence agencies are involved in the Mumbai mayhem. If you continue with your immature, unsubstantiated bellicosity, my Indian neighbours, you will not only end up making fools of yourselves and lose a lot of your world standing, you could also do great damage to yourselves - and to us too, but I suppose that doesn't bother you too much right now in your self-righteous indignation bordering on jingoism. The writer is a senior political analyst E-mail: humayun.gauhar@gmail.com