India experienced the signature synchronized bombings of an Al Queda attack on its civilian population May 15 2008 where A series of bomb blasts across the ancient city of Jaipur killed at least 80 people and turned busy markets, a jewellery bazaar and a Hindu temple into sites of carnage.
This is one of the more vicious and large scale attacks India has experienced from the religion of peace in some time. But more to the point the new government of Pakistan is acquiescing to demands by the Jihadists. In fact, according to Stratfor:
“Pakistani authorities have withdrawn some troops from the tribal belt, engaged in a prisoner exchange with jihadists and agreed to the demands of militants in the Swat district who want to implement Shariah. The negotiation process the new Pakistani civil-military government has embarked upon amounts to acquiescence to the jihadists. The process not only will embolden the militants and fail to create a secure environment within Pakistan; it could also create a major problem with the United States.”
This suggests some likely policy changes for India and the USA. Since 2003 Pakistan’s Musharaf government has been a key ally in the war on terror for the US and India has tolerated a number of terrorist attacks by Jihadis on their civilian and state institutions. However the new government of Pakistan has shown a distinct sympathy to Islmacists and its causes including implementation of Sharia law in some areas of Pakistan. Today’s significant attack killing 80 people in India will likely cause a re thinking of Indian Pakistani relations. At times, Indian rhetoric has gone to the level of nuclear exchanges. While this remains highly uinlikely its not insignificant that the rhetoric reaches this level and while it has not since 2003, both the US and India no longer have the reasons to tolerate Pakistani supported violence in India as Pakistan is now changing its policy of fighting the jihadis in favour of negotiated settlements as well as removing the Pakistani state from areas where the Taliban and Al queda are operating such as the NWFP and Waziristan.
“The Pakistani army on May 14 began “thinning out” troops from two parts of the South Waziristan agency in the country’s northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas in an effort to make peace with the Taliban faction led by Baitullah Mehsud. Additionally, Pakistan and the Taliban conducted a prisoner exchange in which Pakistan released jailed tribal militants while the Taliban freed captured security personnel. These moves come a day after the provincial government in the North-West Frontier Province conceded to a demand from the jihadist movement led by Maulana Fazlullah (whose forces fought the Pakistani army a few months back) and agreed to allow religious scholars to provide guidance to judges in the Swat and Malakand areas, to facilitate implementation of an extreme interpretation of Islamic law.”
Its likely that as Washington grows more and more unimpressed with Islamabad India will feel less need to be tolerant of attacks on its people that are generally thought to be funded from Pakistan.
Ultimately, India and the US will likely grow closer as Pakistan is seen as a compromised nation. It is in fact the only success Al Queda can claim at this point. Also as Pakistan moves towards greater instability with power unavailability and economic meltdown, Islamic militants will likely seize more and more power even beyond the two provinces where they are effectively the state now.