To understand what is going on in South Asia we must keep firmly in mind Lenin's definition of politics: "Politics is concentrated economics." Once that is kept firmly in mind the truth becomes clear.
I would first like to speak about the Partition of India in 1947. What is the superficial explanation of this historical event which caused so much misery to lakhs of people? It is that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, and therefore must live apart. Hindus worship idols and many gods, whereas Islam forbids idol worship, and permits worship of Allah only. So Partition was inevitable.
[M]any people... cast all the blame for all troubles in the region on Pakistan, the so-called "epicentre of terrorism." But that is a superficial understanding...
But what is the truth? The truth is that the two nation theory, which was the basis of Partition, was bogus. For centuries Hindus and Muslims lived together in India peacefully. Hindus used to participate in Eid and Muharram, and Muslims in Holi and Diwali. Muslim rulers like the Mughals, Nawabs of Avadh and Murshidabad, Tipu Sultan, etc were secular (there is no doubt a controversy about Aurangzeb, on which see my post on justicekatju.blogspot.in) and would organize and often participate in Holi, Dussehra and other Hindu festivals.
What was then the cause of Partition?
The cause was simply this: the Western powers did not want (and still do not want) India to emerge as a modern, powerful, highly industrialized country—because this would make the Indian economy a strong rival to Western economies.
It must be remembered that the cost of labour is a big chunk of the total cost of production. If the cost of labour is less, the cost of production will be less, and if the cost of production is less one can sell one's goods at a cheaper price, thus underselling one's business rival. Thus the business rival will not be able to face the competition.
Indian labour is far cheaper than Western labour, and so we are in an advantageous position vis-à-vis Westerners. Realizing this, they craftily planned and implemented the Partition of India, so that we keep fighting each other, and do not emerge as a powerful industrial giant (for which we have all the potential now with our huge pool of engineers, scientists, technicians, etc. and immense natural resources). Also, tensions and fights between India and Pakistan boost the sales of Western arms manufacturers (India is the biggest importer of foreign arms in the world, spending billions of dollars on them—money that could have been spent on the welfare of our people).
So, Partition in 1947 had nothing to do with alleged Hindu-Muslim animosity. It had economic reasons mentioned above, which we must understand.
[A]ll this painting of Pakistan as the devil is a lot of nonsense. Pakistan is a small fry. The real "devil" behind the scenes is China...
Now coming to present developments in India and its neighbourhood, many people (particularly many of our politicians and our TRP-driven media) cast all the blame for all troubles in the region on Pakistan, the so-called "epicentre of terrorism." But that is a superficial understanding, so let us understand the truth.
The truth is that China has emerged as a modern giant, with a huge industry, and a foreign exchange reserve of about $3.2 trillion, which is a lot of hot money hungrily seeking avenues for investment, markets and raw materials (much like the imperialist powers).
Its main rival is India, not only because India is also a huge country with a population almost equal to that of China, but even more because Indian labour is cheaper than Chinese labour. So if India emerges as a big industrial power, China may not be able to face the competition from Indian industry, as with our cheaper labour we can undersell the Chinese.
This is the real reason why China is backing Pakistan and by extension the Kashmiri militants, its whole game being to weaken India, and not allow it to become a modern industrial giant.
So all this painting of Pakistan as the devil is a lot of nonsense. Pakistan is a small fry. The real "devil" behind the scenes is China, which has invested a huge amount of money in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan, is building the Pak-China Economic corridor, and is likely to be covertly sending sophisticated weapons etc, to the Kashmiri militants. So please realize we are not facing a small fry like Pakistan, but a super industrial power, China.