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Turan Nishant: What kind of security threats does a radicalised south Punjab in Pakistan poses to the border states of India?

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  • P.K. Upadhyay replies: Rising religious radicalism in Pakistan is a cause for major concern to India. For one it is not a phenomenon with purely internal security and stability implications for Pakistan. It is trans-national in its approach and character, and seeks to reach out to the Muslim communities and societies outside Pakistan as well. This could adversely affect sections of the Indian Muslims. It could accentuate sectarian differences among the Indian Muslims, destroy notions of religious pluralism and could make various sects more orthodox, doctrinaire and militant in pursuit of their wish to impose their interpretation of the faith. India's bordering areas, especially those across south Punjab of Pakistan, which cannot be totally insulated given the dictates of geography, would be the first recipients of this virus, adding to India's already considerable headache in managing border areas.

    Besides, increasing sectarian tensions and growing radicalisation could weaken the state apparatuses and even cause a breakdown in the law and order situation in Pakistan. This could make many people leave their home and hearths and seek refuge in India. How will India deal with that situation? Would it allow them easy entry into the country's bordering areas in Indian Punjab and Rajasthan with its concomitant security and social implications, or would it stop them in the no-man's land and force them to live in appalling conditions and face international opprobrium for that? It is about time that the government does its homework and be ready with possible solutions.