In his testimony on the “World Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community” during a hearing on Thursday before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Director of US National Intelligence James Clapper observed that relations between India and Pakistan will remain sour over the issue of safe havens in the latter’s territory for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). LeT – a militant organization – is considered by India to be responsible for the Mumbai 2008 attacks. Its sister organisation, the Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), operates freely in Pakistan as chief Hafiz Saeed continues to enjoy patronage. For someone who claims to be doing nothing more than running a charity, Mr Saeed’s speeches are overtly political and full of hate against India and those who seek peace instead of war.

Following the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which resulted in the brutal murder of more than a hundred students including teachers and the principal, some had hoped that the country’s military would finally wise up and employ a blanket policy against non-state actors. It is of course difficult for the military establishment to dismantle the vast jihadi network overnight, which has taken decades to set up. However, it is becoming clear that the military remains closed to introspection or revision of policies. There is no evidence to suggest that the military has ceased to discriminate between good terrorists and bad terrorists. As former dictator Pervez Musharraf brags about creating the Taliban to counter India, there ought to be no doubt that the policies implemented by him and the institution he belonged to have brought the country to its knees. Those who dare to question the wisdom of the military’s jihadi adventures, are labeled traitors so business can proceed as usual. It is shocking to see how easy it is for the establishment to see the country’s people, especially minorities, die at the hands of fanatics as long as it feels that it is pursuing or achieving some ill-defined objectives. Some of our snakes have turned around and bitten us. Now, we are trying to squash some with one hand while feeding milk to the rest with the other.