This is yet another arrow in the quiver of the terrorists sponsored by Pakistan. In a bid to disrupt the ongoing elections in Kashmir, terrorists launched a series of violent assaults in the Valley. They included an attack on an army camp near Uri, a checkpoint at Srinagar, and grenade blasts at Tral and Shopian. Eight Indian soldiers and three policemen have died in these attacks.
This was not unexpected, given how Pakistan and terrorists operating from its territory have been ratcheting up tensions recently, especially since New Delhi called off talks.
We have seen the spectacle of special trains being organised to ferry people to rallies held by Hafiz Saeed, whose Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for the Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has orchestrated horrific attacks in India.
The latest outrage validates all the criticism that Indian politicians direct at Pakistan for fomenting terror and using it as an instrument of State policy. It also consolidates public support for New Delhi's position that it cannot talk to Pakistan against the backdrop of terror.
What are Indian audiences supposed to think about Pakistan and its government when the latter is mollycoddling the very group that arrived by boat and openly gunned down Indians and foreigners in Mumbai? The provision of train services confirms yet again the intimate links between the LeT and the Pakistani military establishment.
Pakistan must let polls in J-K proceed without any incident. It must realise that such tactics end up hurting Kashmiris in the end and may yield electoral outcomes those in the Valley do not want at this time.
Hafiz Saeed may be a VVIP in Pakistan, but his statements that the elections cannot be a substitute for a plebiscite will find few supporters in Kashmir.
If, as it says, Pakistan is the biggest victim of terrorism, then entertaining the likes of Saeed is counterproductive.
Pakistan's image took a beating when it was found that Osama bin Laden was living in its territory. It is also home to wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. This does the elected government of Pakistan and its army no credit.
It is time Pakistan gave up these ugly tactics and became a responsible player in the comity of nations.