Ishrat Ali Khan In an in-depth analysis on the Mumbai attackers of 26/11 Ms Christine Fair, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, examined that the attacks though attributed largely to Pakistans Laskhar-i-Taiba (LeT) did not mean that Indias internal challenges were less dire. Many western experts feel that such precision planning and execution in the Mumbai tragedy would not have been possible without the involvement of some local facilitators and handlers. In November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, the then Indian security advisor, Mr Narayanan, remained unmoved because the Indian government considered it prudent not to mention them as all the venom was directed on Pakistan. Media hype was created that blamed Pakistan within couple of hours of the attacks. While condemning the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan denied involvement of any of its agencies hinting that it may be the handiwork of some non-state actors from its soil. Indeed, India was playing in the hands of Rashtriya Swayams-evak Sangh (RSS) and Shiv Sena (SS), factions of the Bha-ratiya Janata Party (BJP), which does not want to see Pakistan and India moving forward on the peace process. Nevertheless, India should have demonstrated restraint and responsibility at that critical time. It is definitely in the interest of both the countries to exhibit maturity and wisdom for action and reaction to the Mumbai attacks. The fundamentalist parties are known to have a history of blaming Pakistan and ISI for the smallest of occurrences in India, but distorting facts to an extent to appear itself as the aggrieved party may not go well with its international commitment in the fight against war on terrorism. However, Islam-abad pressed New Delhi for information on the local militant outfits but got no reply despite reminders. Until recently, India has generally dismissed the importance of home-grown Islamist militant groups and has focused as an alternative upon the Pakistan-based groups. The deadly bomb blast that killed nine people in the city of Pune on February 13, 2010, has confirmed the presence of extremists/militants on the Indian soil. The little known terror outfit 'Indian Mujahideen, which clai-med responsibility for the serial blasts in Ahmedabad, Jai-pur, and Uttar Pradesh on November 23, 2007, has been featured in the Pune blast. The Intelligence Bureau claims that the Indian Mujahideen is a new ploy by the terror outfits to misguide probe agencies, saying that the group comprises activists from banned outfits like Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJI) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It will be appropriate to take a look at Pune blast in the context of national interest of both countries. Pakistan is the biggest loser in this case. Why would Pakistan do this, especially when it is: ? already facing the allegation of perpetrating the Mumbai carnage. ? encountering the biggest financial crunch. ? fighting a very difficult War on Terror along its western border in which Pakistan has sacrificed both in men and material. According to a report entitled Pakistan Security Report 2009, Pakistan has lost more than 1,300 army personnel, while its economy has so far suffered a huge loss of $35 billion in the anti-terror campaign. Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism; therefore, it is wrong to think of it (Pakistan) an as a perpetrator of terrorism. So justice demands that Pakistan be appreciated, more so because it is a country that is a frontline state in GWOT since 2001. On the other hand, India has gained multiple objectives from this incident. Now, India will have an open licence to commit state terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir on the hapless Kashmiri freedom fighters resisting the occupation forces for the sake of self-determination. It is also important to identify the deficiencies in Indian counte-rterrorism machinery and act quickly to remove them than shifting the blame on others. Do you think India is free of militant groups? There are lots of militant groups operating in India. India must put its house in order before placing any allegation on others for its own misdoing. There are numerous internal insurgent organisations who are already angered over Indian atrocities on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs. It is very worrisome that the marginalisation of Indian dissatisfied and underprivileged communities is directly proportional to the increase in radicalism leading to the incident such as Mumbai attacks and Pune blast. Apart from the rise of Muslims radicalism in India, Hindu extremist organisations and its leader are proliferating hate propaganda against Pakistan, Islam or Muslims. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Shive Sena (SS) are xenophobic and fundamentalist parties that incriminated 'official Pakistan in the macabre Mumbai attacks of November 26, and then stalled the composite dialogues process featuring Pakistan. With their jingoistic policies, they have been raising frivolous and obscurantist issues at a synchronised time to stall a plan-ned rapprochement between the two neighbourly countries - may it be snubbing of Pakistani cricketers in the bidding of IPL auction, or blocking the release of movie named My Name Is Khan (MNIK) in many theatres as the movie depicts bias against Muslims after 9/11, or using Mumbai episode by issuing inflammatory statements before upcoming Indian election in April, etc. The Indian media disclosed that serving Indian Lt Col Purohit along with other army officers have accepted the responsibility of destroying Samjhota Express that took the toll of 300 innocent Pakistani lives. The involvement of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and owners of 5-star hotels Taj Mahal, and Oberoi in the Mumbai attacks, cannot be ruled out completely. The murder of the Indian Intelligence chief Hemant Karkare, who was probing the Malegaon blasts, was the doing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Bajrang Dal. New Delhi averts attention from home-grown terrorism when it brings in Pakistan straightaway even in the latest terrorist act at Pune. People get involved in anti-Pakistan rhetoric and lose all their composure. The real problem is the growth of terrorism on the Indian soil. It is extremism and radicalism which is spreading. Had the two countries joined hands to fight against it, people on both sides would have heaved a sigh of relief. But mistrust came in the way. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the first one to politicise the blast. The Hindu nationalist and extremist leaders straight away blamed Pakistan for the attack and demanded to call off the talks scheduled for February 25 in New Delhi. Composite dialogue on various mutual issues, including the Kashmir issue, have to be prioritised. If the talks are not a way to sort out things, then should India take to arms? America has realised after nine years of fighting in Afghanistan that Taliban cannot be defeated by military means alone. Indias threat to attack Pakistan under the garb of surgical operation of religious seminaries on Pakistani soil, do not go well to root out terrorism from the region. The proud verbalisations of Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor on June 27, 2009, that adequate troops were positioned along the border with Pakistan, also poisoned the environment of expected peace talks. Although the hardcore politicians apparently talk about 'peace, they are responsible for embittered India-Pakistan ties. The important lesson to learn from the Pune blast is to continue the peace talks, whether the meeting of the foreign secretaries is a success or not as there is no option other than dialogue. Hence, India must reconsider its decision of suspending the composite dialogue with Pakistan. The decision should not be reactionary with an understanding of political reality. These extremist parties should not be allowed to dictate the scope and schedule of diplomatic interaction with Pakistan. An honest and determined effort is needed to change their mindset without which no peace will be possible in either country. The composite dialogue is the only framework that can eliminate terrorism and militancy from the region. The writer is a freelance columnist.