20 August 2012: In answer to India's allegations, Pakistan says it is itself a victim of terrorism. Accepting this plea of the (former) Pakistani military president, Parvez Musharraf, prime minister Manmohan Singh tried to make peace with Pakistan. His efforts were unfruitful.
Is Pakistan so much a victim of terrorism that it cannot be blamed for terror attacks against India? Is terrorism against India autonomously carried out by groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba without involvement of Pakistan's military and ISI?
The answers are complex. But the bottom-line is this. Pakistan is a victim of terrorism. At the same time, Pakistan uses terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India, although with more and more inbuilt deniability since the Bombay carnage of 2008.
There are broadly four kinds of terror groups operating in Pakistan with or without state (that is, military and ISI) patronage. There are the anti-Shia and anti-Sunni groups which regularly carry out their killings. In Zia-ul-Haq's time, anti-Shia sentiments were profound, which is why his own death in a midair explosion is attributed to a Shia conspiracy.

By and large, Musharraf was able to stamp out sectarian terror groups, but they emerge now and then, and this Id, Pakistan has taken extraordinary precautions, including suspending mobile services for some hours in big cities, to contain their terrorism. Whilst individual military and intelligence officers may have their biases, state institutions generally rise above the feud, although there is open season to persecute minorities such as Ahmediyas and Hindus.

Then there is Pakistan's biggest and most dangerous domestic terror network grouped under Pakistani Taliban and its offspring, Punjabi Taliban. Pakistani Taliban terrorists stormed the Kamra nuclear strategic airbase recently and have previously too staged attacks on military and ISI facilities. Recent precautions including suspension of cellular telephony and anti-hijack alerts also apply to Taliban terrorism.

Pakistani Taliban has come of age in the FATA badlands which have been second home to Afghan and foreign terrorist groups like the Al-Qaeda since after the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban has aims similar to the Afghan Taliban's for Afghanistan with Pakistan's deterrent being an additional -- or even the primary -- attraction.

Pakistani Taliban has fraternal relations with the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda and has assisted them with human and material resources from time to time. Pakistani Taliban has sworn enmity with the Pakistan military after its Lal Masjid seminary was raided by soldiers in July 2007 and its student inmates killed. Under US pressure, Pakistan may have decided to confront the North Waziristan terrorists, including Pakistani Taliban, which explains the Kamra incident and Pakistan's strong anti-terror measures.

On a different plane and in league with Pakistan's military and ISI operate anti-Afghanistan and anti-India terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Haqqani Taliban, and so on. Whilst groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba have haemorrhaged and swelled the ranks of Pakistani/ Punjabi Taliban, the Pakistan military/ ISI have reasonably succeeded to firewall externally-oriented, pro-state terrorist groups from domestic anti-state outfits. A broad concept of "good" and "bad" terrorists has been encouraged in Pakistan, and umbrella structures such as Difa-e-Pakistan Council bolster pro-state terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

A state which employs terrorism as a policy instrument will eventually be consumed by it. India paid with the lives of two prime ministers for trucking with Sri Lankan Tamil and Khalistan terrorists. Unlike India, Pakistan refuses to learn from its blunders. Whilst it is willing to concede the disastrous fallouts of backing the mujahideen against the Soviets, it is unable to accept the reality of blowbacks from anti-India terrorism.

Which is why you have the bizarre and dangerous situation of Pakistan trying desperately to insulate itself from Pakistani Taliban terrorism even whilst ISI wages new psychological war against India and its citizens of the North East. Pakistan's military and ISI comprise a deep state and, therefore, they would encourage terrorism against India over the objections, if any, of the elected government. But the civilian government also becomes complicit in terrorism when it tries to cover up for the military and ISI.

There is nothing India can do about this beyond taking precautions. Engagement with Pakistan is futile. There is a view in Pakistan that if it goes down, it must sink India alongside. Spectating Pakistan's decline and fall is the only option available to India short of war, which means India must also prepare for the eventual break up of Pakistan. The pain of keeping Pakistan together is something Pakistanis don't want to bear.

So why should India bother?