After last weekâ€™s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, many feared India would respond by using its military to escalate tensions with Pakistan. Now, reports indicate India will take a diplomatic approach.
Because there is not substantial proof that Pakistan coordinated or sponsored the attacks, India does not want to make a move that could put the civilian Pakistani government in a difficult position. Any military action by India would likely increase the Pakistani militaryâ€™s power, weakening civilian control. Additionally, Pakistan would likely respond to Indian aggression by redeploying troops from the tribal areas along the Afghanistan border to the Indian border — a move that would play into Taliban and al-Qaeda hands.
The hope is that Pakistan will fully cooperate in the investigation to uncover the ringleaders behind the Mumbai attacks. The shear brutality of those attacks should give Pakistan plenty of cause to round up the perpetrators who are likely hiding within Pakistani territory. This attack is not like previous assaults on Indian governmental establishments. This was a horrific and indiscriminate attack on civilians. I would hope there would be little sympathy for the attackers and little desire to help them remain hidden.
Many militants would like nothing more than a war between Pakistan and India. As of now, it doesnâ€™t appear either nation is going to fall into that trap.