Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


and the international community continue to press Pakistan to

take action against the LeT/JuD, Pakistan has taken some

steps in this direction. However, India believes that large parts

of the LeT/JuD terror network remains untouched and views

as a major setback the release of JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad

Saeed from house arrest in early June on the orders of the Lahore

High Court. 17

Even though the Mumbai attack was the most spectacular in

India last year, there has been a spurt in religious violence by

both Indian Muslim and Hindu extremist groups. For the first

time, India formally acknowledged the existence of homegrown

jihadi groups following the simultaneous bomb blasts in the

major cities of Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi

in the past year, killing over 150 people. In addition, six people

were killed in bomb blasts in two western Indian cities last

September. Eleven Hindu extremists of the radical group Abhinav

Bharat were subsequently arrested and charged for these

attacks, including a serving middle-ranking army officer.

At the same time, terror attacks in Pakistan occur on a weekly

basis, if not more frequently; and, they continue to spread from

the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to the North West Frontier

Province (NWFP) and other parts of the country. Most of

these attacks have been attributed to Baitullah Mehsud (who

was reportedly killed in an American drone attack), the leader

of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The most prominent terror

attack destroyed the landmark Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in

September 2008, killing 54 people. The Sharm-el-Sheikh joint

declaration referred to Pakistan’s information on “threats in

Balochistan and other areas,” 18 but India has denied it is linked

to terror attacks in Pakistan. Terror attacks in both India and

Pakistan are expected to continue, despite the strengthening of

their national security structures. The likelihood of a Pakistanbased

militant group carrying out another Mumbai-type terror

attack in India to disrupt peace talks and provoke another India-

Pakistan confrontation is high. This may not only fatally disrupt

the peace process, but it would also generate considerable domestic

pressure—in an already delicate nuclear weapons environment—for

India to toughen its stance. The lack of mutual trust,

along with possible misperceptions and misunderstandings, could

result in inadvertent military escalation by both countries.


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