The true way to soften ones troubles is to solace those of others. Madame De Maintenon The widening economic gap between the haves and have-nots is now breeding terror in India. The recent serial bomb blasts in its financial hub, Mumbai, which left 21 people killed and 133 injured, has been traced by the Indian administration to be the work of homegrown extremist groups. A Bangladeshi national, Reazul Sarkar, who is considered to be the prime suspect in the 13/7 bombing, is under police custody. While another suspect, Fayaz Usmani, died in mysterious circumstances during interrogation by the local authorities. Initially, Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, Senior Leader L.K. Advani blamed Pakistan for the attacks and wanted the Congress-led administration in New Delhi to do the same. However, he was snubbed by Congress Partys General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who said that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS, which is BJPs rightwing parent organisation and a Hindu extremist group, was also one of the suspects for the recent mayhem witnessed in the country. It is unfortunate that Advani tried to malign Pakistan without any evidence; indeed, this practice of accusing Pakistan for every ill that takes place in India has continued since ages. He went to the extent of demanding that the upcoming Foreign Minister level talks between the two countries should be suspended till the terror apparatus is dismantled in Pakistan. Moreover, Advani in his anti-Pakistan frenzy insisted that the terror camps in Afghanistan, which, in fact, are patronised by the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, should be abolished before any meaningful dialogue is resumed between India and Pakistan. However, as luck would have it, preliminary investigation by the local authorities has hinted that the 13/7 blasts could be the work of Indian Mujahideen - a group that wants to put an end to the social as well as economic disparities prevailing in the country. In addition, the investigators suspect that the Hindu extremist organisation may have masterminded the blasts mainly aimed at triggering communal riots; it is no secret that whenever internal conflicts have erupted, Hindus mostly target the Muslims, who suffer great losses in terms of life and property. Another option being considered or investigated by the police is that it could be the work of underworld gangs, who might have targeted the diamond market, in Mumbai, in order to warn the traders that either they pay the money that is demanded from them or face the consequences. Anyway, the Indian government should realise that terror in any form and anywhere must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. In this context, New Delhi should shut down the terrorist training camps it has established in Afghanistan, besides putting an end to the atrocities being inflicted on the unarmed people of Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram. While Kashmiris have been under the Indian occupation for decades, the conflict and unrest prevailing in various Indian states is specifically due to the economic inequalities prevailing in so-called 'Shining India. Therefore, people like Advani, instead of lecturing Pakistan, must try to put their own house in order before it is too late and this menace spreads to other states in Bharat. Meanwhile, the leadership in New Delhi reported to their new friends in Washington that the investigation on the carnage in Mumbai showed no signs of Pakistani involvement. This must have dampened the spirits of the US administration, who would have been extremely happy if it (India) had accused Pakistan of the attacks. The Americans would then have resorted to more arm-twisting of Islamabad and further imposing sanctions on Pakistan to pressurise the nation to carry out certain tasks that would benefit the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. However, these tasks would mean a perilous journey for Pakistan. Nevertheless, it is now up to Pakistan to exert pressure on the Indian government and seek an apology from the likes of Advani for blaming it for no reason. However, it was a good gesture by Islamabad to have offered to help New Delhi in the investigation of the incident, since it has also been a victim of terrorism. Furthermore, while the Indians should make efforts to reduce the social and economic inequality existing in the state, it will be equally appropriate if they move towards a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute. The Indians must realise that in case they continue to stifle sane voices, they should be prepared to face the anger of those who will try to gain attention of the international community through violent tactics. But this certainly does not mean that terrorism, whether in Pakistan or India, is acceptable; it must be condemned by everyone. More so, suitable measures must be undertaken to cure the problems that have led to such violent acts. At the same time, Pakistanis must force the Indians to give up their policy of using terrorism as an instrument of government policy. According to media reports, there is substantial evidence that the Indians have been involved in several acts of terrorism and sabotage not only in the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but have also provided financial support and weapons to insurgents in Balochistan. Also, Islamabad should make it clear to New Delhi that extremist groups had established themselves in at least nine of its states and now is the time to not only find out or investigate the causes that have led to the establishment of these homegrown extremists, but also stop supporting, financing and training insurgents fighting the Pakistani security forces. To top it all, the Indians must start negotiating with the true representatives of the Kashmiri people, as a first step towards the settlement of the dispute. That has the potential of ushering in economic progress and prosperity for the entire region. One hopes that the Indian government has learnt some lessons from the Mumbai blasts and will initiate a meaningful dialogue with the leaders of the Kashmiri people, who have been demanding for their right of self-determination. Also, it will try to build strong relations with its neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan, to find long lasting solutions to provide the basic amenities to the people living in the region. This can only happen if the Indians, instead of spending a fortune on their war machine, try to resolve their outstanding issues with their neighbours in a constructive and peaceful manner. n The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist. At present, he hosts a political programme on Pakistan Television. Email: