Kashmir not the reason for Pak terrorism: Experts

      Scholars from the United States and India have said that it is a misperception that Kashmir issue is the reason for Pakistan’s support to terrorism. They are of the view that regional disputes are used merely as camouflage for terrorism by Pakistan. “Understanding of this reality needs to be promoted in the US”, the scholars said after two days of in-depth discussions on “Countering Terrorism in South Asia” as part of the ORF-Heritage Dialogue in New Delhi. US scholars said Washington believes that Pakistan is both the problem and solution of the problem. They said the US is in dire need of Pakistan’s cooperation to end the war in Afghanistan and also for intelligence gathering. While it is understandable, it also does create a great deal of ambiguity in US counter terrorism policy, they pointed out. The US scholars who took part in the Counter Terrorism Dialogue, organized by Observer Research Foundation and Heritage Foundation, are Dr. Ashley Tellis (Carnegie Endowment), Dr. Kim Holmes, Lis Kurtis, Mr. Walter Lohman, Dr. James Carafano (Heritage Foundation) Chris Fair (Georgetown University, Dr. Richard A. Falkenrath, former Deputy Commissioner of Counter Terrorism, New York City Police Department and Sherif Lee Baca. The key Indian participants were Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary, Gen. V.P. Malik, Maj. Gen. Afsar Karim, Ms. Leela Ponappa, former Deputy National Security Advisor, Ms. Arundhati Ghose, former Indian envoy to the UN, Vikram Sood, Wilson John (ORF), Prof. Rajesh Rajagopalan (JNU), Dr. Ajay Darshan Behera (Jamia University), Siddharth Varadarajan and Praveen Swami (The Hindu). The Dialogue concluded that Pakistan is the source of terrorism across the globe and terrorist acts perpetrated in the US. What is more worrying is the fact that there is a clear nexus between the State institutions and terrorist groups, and it is growing. The Dialogue also expressed concern over the possibility of terrorist groups getting hold of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in view of Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record. It also noted that Diasporas -- Muslim, Tamil, and others -- are becoming radicalized; and terrorism is no longer the recourse of the poor and deprived. More often than not, terrorists and their supporters belong to Middle or Upper Classes.

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