Σάββατο, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2008

India blames Pakistan for Mumbai bloodshed

India blames Pakistan for Mumbai bloodshed Authorities in India are pointing the finger at Pakistan as the likely source of the coordinated terror attack on Mumbai that lasted three days and left at least 195 people dead. Indian police say the only surviving militant had a Pakistani passport and told officers he had been trained in the Islamic republic. On Saturday, police succeeded in recapturing the besieged Taj Mahal Palace hotel using a series of controlled explosions.A search is now under way for anyone who may still be trapped inside.At least 195 people, including some westerners, died during the assault. But police fear the death toll could rise. Up to 300 have been injured, the vast majority of them Indian citizens.Associated Press of Pakistan reports that the country’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that Islamabad wants friendly relations with its neighbours. “We want peace, co-operation and friendship with our neighbours as it is in the best interest of the country,” he said talking to a private TV channel. “During a meeting with the Indian Foreign Minister I said that Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist act in Mumbai, has sympathy with the Indian government and is ready to extend its co-operation to probe the incident,” Mahmood Qureshi is quoted as saying. He said he told the Indian Foreign Minister that Pakistan itself is the victim of terrorism and both the countries can jointly defeat the menace of terrorism. He said the blame game will not help to resolve the problem of terrorism, and Pakistan and India should work together. President Asif Ali Zardari offered full support to the Indian government in investigating the terrorist act in the Indian business capital.On Friday masked Indian commandos launched a sustained operation at a Jewish centre in Mumbai where Muslim militants were holed up with hostages. Gunshots and explosions were heard as government forces cleared the building floor by floor. Elsewhere in the city elite troops have cleared Muslim attackers from two luxury hotels. They had barricaded themselves inside with hostages for more than a day after a series of attacks had paralysed India’s financial capital. Eyewitness accounts say the terrorists were looking for UK and U.S. passport holders. Russian media reports on Friday said all Russian citizens were released unharmed.Meanwhile, Russia's counter terrorism presidential envoy, Anatoly Safonov, says the terrorists in Mumbai applied the same tactics used by Chechen militants, who raided Russian towns in the North Caucasus in the 1990s.Terrorism or fight for freedom: where’s the line?What happened in Mumbai has once again raised the issue of global terrorism and how to fight it. For one, attacks continue to be a regular occurrence in Israel and the Palestinian autonomy.And it doesn't matter whether you call people terrorists or freedom fighters - at the end of the day it's always a sad story from all sides.The last time that the Jayyozi family in the Palestinian city of Tulkaram were all together was ten years ago.One son is now studying in Russia; another is behind bars serving life for killing six Israelis; the last one, Mohammed, has been just released from prison."Of course I’m very sad my brother is still in prison and I think about it all the time. But we did what was necessary to release Palestine from Israeli occupation," released Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Jayyozi said. And the Jayyozi family story is quite ordinary in Palestine."You come to this moment when you see your friends dying, wounded, blown up after Israeli air strikes. You see all this blood on the streets and at that moment you decide you have to do something," Mohammed says.But while Mohammed is a hero in the city of Tulkaram, across the border in Israel’s capital Tel Aviv he is the opposite. Even those Israelis sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle for freedom don't support his methods.Psychologist Diana Sigal-Hodorkovsky says: "in western culture when a person kills himself or murders other people, he's considered sick. But in Islam, to sacrifice oneself for one’s religion or nation is very, very honourable. Also, when a child grows up in a society where he sees only war and bloodshed, he comes to think this is normal," she said. This is why Mohammed's mother Nadia, is resigned to her fate."You cannot call it a life that I have. Day after day, holiday after holiday, I was alone and I didn't know where my children were. Palestinian mothers today live a new history. We live with our sons in prison. This is our reality," Nadia says.
Mumbai a terror zone, and India bitterly points its finger at Pakistan. The unloved neighbor needs all the help the West can offer. Pakistan is nearly a failed state -- and a US invasion under President Obama can't be ruled out.It is still not clear who exactly carried out the terror attacks in Mumbai this week. But the actions speak for themselves. The murderers expressly went after Britons, Americans and Jews. In the world's largest democracy, attacks were carried out by a determined minority against the will of an overwhelming majority. The crimes bear the clear and bloody fingerprints of militant, political Islamism. The uncomfortable resonance left behind by the series of attacks is that the criminals were almost omnipotent: They could strike where, when and -- almost -- whomever they wanted. The terror didn't just claim its victims in one awful moment; it spread out and lasted for days. There was a similar feeling during the terror attacks on the living quarters of Westerners in Saudi Arabia in 2004 as well as the battle at Pakistan's Red Mosque, in the center of Islamabad. But this time the terror overtook an entire cityThe attacks struck the heart of an Indian civil society that has always functioned fairly well, despite recurring conflicts between the country's Hindu majority and Muslim minority. The terror struck a country that is closely allied, politically and economically, with the West. The terrorists' mission can be neatly summarized: political, economic and cultural destabilization of the whole subcontinent.
The attacks were an attempt to spread religious war from the whole of Afghanistan and regions of Pakistan to their southern neighbor, India. It's obvious the terrorists follow the ideology of al-Qaida, though it's unclear whether the head of that organization gave orders for this mission. Perhaps we'll never know -- it wouldn't be the first time. But we can assume the murderers from Mumbai see themselves as part of an international movement in which Zawahiri and bin Laden hold high ranks.
Now the population of India, shocked to the core by the brutality, is pointing unmistakably in one direction: to the northwest. "Elements with links to Pakistan" are responsible for the massacre, says India's foreign minister. Several terrorists have Pakistani backgrounds, say Indian officials, though the government has so far presented no firm evidence. But a lack of evidence does not mean Pakistan had nothing to do with the well-planned attacks.
On the contrary: The Indian embassy in Kabul was made the target of a bloody attack earlier this summer. Western intelligence services have traced the attackers in that case back to the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI. Pakistani groups in the past have often been responsible for terror attacks in India. Of course, there are also "homegrown" jihadists in India as well. But in Pakistan, above all in its tribal area near the border with Afghanistan, these fighters have the territory they need to plan the spread of their war beyond its local confines. There have been three major wars between the two countries since 1947, when Britain withdrew and the protectorate was divided into Pakistan and India. There have also been a number of smaller armed conflicts, most recently in 1999. Even when the fighting ceases, a deep mistrust abides. The political mottos in this conflict might be summed up as, "My enemy's enemy is my friend," and "What hurts my neigbor is good for me." These maxims, born from deep enmity, were familiar in Europe in the 19th century, when every nation thought it was better than its neighbor. But on the Indian subcontinent 21st century Islamist terrorism has to be added as a decisive political factor to these kinds of parochial ideas.
Brainwashing for the Holy War
Nevertheless, Pakistan's foreign minister offered India his help on Friday. He pledged to send the head of the ISI to share information with his Indian counterparts. These are praiseworthy developments, but it will take more than words to prevent attacks like those in Mumbai from happening again. Even if the governments in New Delhi and Islamabad have cautiously begun to discuss their core differences, like the status of Kashmir, and even if telegrams of sympathy are sent from Islamabad to Mumbai and New Delhi, the benefits will be limited.
And if the murky political and military situation in Pakistan is not clarified and solved, then the war on the terror between Kabul, Karachi and Mumbai will almost certainly be lost.

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