London, Dec 1 : British author William Dalrymple has said that the Mumbai terror attacks highlight the need for resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to prevent jihadi groups from exploiting grievances of Muslims.
Writing in The Observer, Dalrymple noted the abject failure of the Bush Administration to woo the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan away from extremists and, instead, managing to convince many of them of the hostility of the West towards Muslims.
He added that the failure had led to a gathering catastrophe in Afghanistan where the once-hated Taliban were again at the gates of Kabul, the Daily Times reported.
"At the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the state should logically have gone to Pakistan. However, the pro-Indian sympathies of the state's Hindu Maharajah, as well as the Kashmiri origins of the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, led to the state passing instead to India on the condition that the Kashmiris retained a degree of autonomy," he said.
The author, whose book 'The Last Mughal' won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Crossword Indian Book of the Year prize, said India had been making matters worse by its ill-treatment of the people of Kashmir, which had handed to the jihadis an entire generation of educated, angry middle-class Muslims.
Dalrymple wrote that if Israel's treatment of the Palestinians was the most emotive issue for Muslims in the Middle East, then India's treatment of the people of Kashmir played a similar role among South Asian Muslims.
He noted that after the Mumbai attacks; the burgeoning peace process between India and Pakistan was yet again likely to be derailed.
Dalrymple said peace in South Asia was unlikely until the demands of the Kashmiris were in some measure addressed and the swamp of grievance in Srinagar somehow drained.
"Until then, the Mumbai massacres may be a harbinger of more violence to come," he added.