December 1, 2008

It has happened once again. Terror attacks on Indian soil are happening rather frequently. Mumbai, Ajmer, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, terror has struck almost in every corner of the country. Hundreds of innocent people have died. Many more lives have been changed forever. Yet the suffering continues. Pungent smell of fear remains in the air. Terror attacks and our helplessness never seem to cease!

After every terror attack on Indian soil, investigations reveal some links to Pakistan. After a few days of tough talk by Government of India, everything gets lost. People who have died are forgotten. Life returns to normal but at the back of the mind there is a nervous anticipation of yet another terror attack.

To be frank, Indian government is helpless, to a large extent, in tackling this menace. We can't directly attack Pakistan due to nuclear deterrent. And like Pakistan, we cannot sponsor terrorism because we are Indians. So what options do we have?

I am no international relations expert but I think there is a way out, that too a non-violent way. If PR can work for business, it can work to fight terrorism as well. We cannot attack Pakistan but we can show the world how terrorism grows inside Pakistan. If each and every day, for a continuous period of two years, we can highlight how Pakistan nourishes terror, international community would isolate Pakistan to the extent that she would have no option but to root out the terror from her courtyard.

Indian government should now try to engage in a single point agenda to hammer Pakistan and its image continuously for a long period without any break. Everyday we should try to showcase a new face of terror and how Pakistan, directly or indirectly, supports it.

Let's play a mind game that would make Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw proud. Let's form a high level team and run a Barack Obama type campaign. Let's use all media vehicles and diplomatic suaveness to portray the real face of terror and Pakistan's involvement in it to the whole of the world. Let's show how terror affects not only India but the entire world. Let's put all evidence on the table one by one. Let's use the viral power of the Internet to build a world opinion on Pakistan. Each and every day without exception, let's feed the world on how Pakistan breeds terrorism.

In this era of globalization, Pakistan cannot afford to survive on its own. No country can. If bad publicity isolates Pakistan and establishes a global perspective on how it supports terrorism, Pakistan will have no option but to either uproot terrorism from its soil or perish in isolation. Adverse world opinion can shake Pakistan through its spine. That is evident in the reaction in Pakistan after India's tough talk and pouring in of global support for fight against terrorism.

But the hammering should not last just a week or two. The key to success is "each and every day without exception" till the mission is accomplished.