The Indian leadership has recently taken to describing Pakistan as the "epicentre of terror" in South Asia, and begun demanding that it should stop exporting terrorists to India. This has been its robust response to the November 26, terrorist attacks last year on India's premier industrial centre Mumbai. It may be recalled that when the Indian Parliament had been attacked in December 2001, by Muslim terrorists, the Indian government had treated that as an officially inspired act, and created a major crisis that had lasted 10 months, with the bulk of armies of both countries ranged in a tense eyeball to eyeball confrontation. The South Asian subcontinent, that had become a jewel in the British crown through conquest over the 18th and 19th centuries, is a culturally and ethnically diverse land mass containing a fifth of the human race that is characterised by a bewildering multiplicity of religions and languages. Nearly 80 percent of the population professes Hinduism, which is unique for its caste system. Even now 400 millions of the 800 million Hindus have a sub-human status and remain mired in poverty. The Muslims, were 25 percent of India's 1940 population of 400 million, and demanded a separate homeland in 1940 after Hindu-dominated governments formed under the 1935 Government of India Act violated their basic rights and sensitivities. Militant Hindu organisations resorted to violence against them that only exacerbated the divide, so that Pakistan was born in 1947 among some of the worst communal riots that involved massacres of an estimated one million people, causing a virtual exchange of population, notably in the Punjab. The boundary award by Sir Cyril Radcliffe was manifestly unfair, awarding Muslim majority areas such as Gurdaspur district to India to enable land access to the Muslim majority state of Kashmir. With the actual encouragement of Lord Mountabatten, who had become Governor General of India after its independence, the Hindu Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, violating the fundamental principle underlying the partition of the subcontinent, and thus gave birth to the dispute over the state that has been a major source of tension between Pakistan and India. India's unwillingness to accept the Two Nation Theory that led to the emergence of Pakistan as the homeland of Muslims remains a basic cause of tension and hostility between the two counties. Here, it is necessary to recall the efforts of Hindu militants to overcome the impression that Muslims are warlike while Hindus are lacking in this respect. The foundation of the Rashtriya Swayam-Sewak Sangh (RSS or National Volunteer Corps) in 1925 was inspired by the rise of Nazis in Germany under Hitler, and was dedicated to transforming Hindus into an aggressive and dominant element in Bharat Varsha (India). At the time of independence, many independent observers had reached the conclusion that though Sikhs were blamed for atrocities and massacres against Muslims in East Punjab, the RSS had played a significant role, as its cadres were both trained and motivated to use extreme violence and cruelty. The Hindu majority in India has been guided, regardless of political affiliation, by two conclusions drawn from the forcible dismemberment of Akhand Bharat: firstly that Muslims remaining in India were not really entitled to normal rights, and secondly that Pakistan was the main obstacle to its achieving its destiny of great power status. Muslims within India have been subjected to communal violence. The average number per annum of such riots has been about 300, so that large Muslim communities have been driven to form their own militant groups to resist Hindu militancy. With a liberation struggle in progress in Kashmir, where India has stationed 700,000 troops, both sides not only have a military confrontation (with UN observers present) but also make use of intelligence agencies. Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence is often blamed in India for fomenting terrorist incidents, but India's RAW has also built up a huge structure and is now known to have close links with America's CIA and Israel's Mossad both of which are specially concerned with Muslim militancy. The roots of terror in Pakistan therefore lie largely in the complex relationship with India, where Hindu militancy, combined with strategic ambitions is a major source of efforts to destabilise the country. A secondary source of terrorist violence on Pakistani soil is the Afghan culture of badla (revenge). The Pashtun tribes straddling the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are devout Muslims, some of whom have studied in madrassahs (religious schools) in Pakistan, that advocate jihadist culture. During the proxy war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, the CIA exploited the anti-communist proclivity of Muslim militants from all over the world and assembled them along the Afghan border. From here led by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, they waged a war against the Soviet forces, mobilising patriotic Afghan tribes that inflicted such losses on Soviet forces that Moscow had to withdraw. The Taliban, (students) from religious schools played a prominent role in Afghan resistance. The US made the mistake of withdrawing completely from Afghanistan where a partnership developed between the Al-Qaeda of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban who occupied 90 percent of Afghanistan by 1996. Following the 9/11 attacks on the US, Western forces used excessive force to defeat the Taliban. Perhaps 100,000 Pashtuns died, in US carpet-bombing but their relations are bound by the traditional concept of badla, and so resistance has grown inside Afghanistan, with some Pashtun tribes on Pakistan side of the border expressing support that is typical of Afghans in facing foreign occupation. Pakistan had recognised the Taliban government in Kabul, while non-Pashtun factions had formed the Northern Alliance that sought refugee in the Panjshir region. The demand by the US, after the 9/11 attacks that Pakistan must join in the war against terror, led President Musharraf to make a Uturn, so that many Taliban supporting tribes turned hostile. The broadly anti-Muslim Bush policies not only alienated the mass of people in Iraq and Afghanistan but also contributed to General Musharraf's growing unpopularity. Law and order have deteriorated in Pakistan, with evidence of foreign interference notably from RAW. Extremists like Baitullah Mehsud have risen up, and spread terrorist attacks, supposedly to help establish a Sharia-based system in Pakistan. The armed forces of Pakistan allowed elected politicians to negotiate a settlement but were forced to intervene when the writ of the state was violated in Swat. The army and state forces are succeeding but the concept of badla is coming into play through indiscriminate attacks all over the country. One hopes that reform and reconstruction in the tribal area, with assistance from Friends of Pakistan will eventually lead to, peace and stability. But in the meantime, the world community must realise that the roots of terrorism lie outside Pakistan in India's unremitting hostility and the Pashtun tradition of revenge. The writer is a former ambassador