Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pakistan, US Act in Mumbai's Aftermath

A series of actions are being taken by Pakistan and the US in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan is cracking down on LeT militants and the US is pursuing sanctions on former ISI and Pakistani military officers. Here's a snapshot of what's happening as reported in the media:

Excerpt from President Zardari's OpEd in NY Times today:

India is a mature nation and a stable democracy. Pakistanis appreciate India’s democratic contributions. But as rage fueled by the Mumbai attacks catches on, Indians must pause and take a breath. India and Pakistan — and the rest of the world — must work together to track down the terrorists who caused mayhem in Mumbai, attacked New York, London and Madrid in the past, and destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September. The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization.

These militants did not arise from whole cloth. Pakistan was an ally of the West throughout the cold war. The world worked to exploit religion against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by empowering the most fanatic extremists as an instrument of destruction of a superpower. The strategy worked, but its legacy was the creation of an extremist militia with its own dynamic.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on Pakistani crackdown on militants as follows:

Pakistan intensified its crackdown on the terror outfit alleged to have orchestrated November's three-day siege of Mumbai, arresting about 40 people Tuesday in raids on militant camps and offices across northwestern and central parts of the country. But a senior Pakistani official made it clear that no suspect arrested by Pakistan would be handed over to India.

A report in Wall Street Journal says US is seeking UN sanctions against Pakistani individuals it believes support terror. Here's an excerpt from the report:

The Bush administration wants the United Nations to put several prominent Pakistanis ( including General Hamid Gul) on a financial blacklist for their alleged support of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed by India for last month's Mumbai terror attacks, according to diplomats familiar with the matter.

The diplomats wouldn't identify the names of the Pakistani individuals being targeted by the U.S., but they are expected to include some former leaders of Pakistan's powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI.

A U.S.-led action by the U.N. against ISI officers, either retired or current, would mark a break from past U.S. policy towards the Pakistani spy agency, said South Asia experts.

Meanwhile, doubts also continue to be expressed about the causes and the culprits of the attacks. It appears that the Indian investigators of Mumbai are operating with only a few pieces of a much larger and more complex puzzle of the tragic terror attacks in Mumbai. What is needed is a broader, more independent, high-level investigation that also looks into the role of Indian intelligence agencies before, during and after Mumbai attacks. Just based on the few reported pieces of this large and complex puzzle, it seems that Pakistan is at least partially culpable, but India must also share responsibility for the horrible treatment of its Muslim minority and the role its security officials and intelligence agencies have played in their dealings with unsavory characters and gangs involved in domestic and international terror.

Former editor of Japan Times Yoichi Shimatsu believes that blaming LeT is a "convenient solution" for the politicians who are trying to cement an Indo-American civilian nuclear pact. Shimatsu writes in an article published by New American Media as follows:

Conservative politicians in New Delhi have seized on the brutal Mumbai attack to discredit the nationalist revolt in Kashmir and undermine the five U.N. Security Council resolutions (1948-1965) that call for a plebiscite on the status of the once-independent country. By linking Lashkar to Mumbai, the Indian right hope to deter President-elect Barack Obama from his oft-stated policy of bringing the Kashmir issue to the fore.

These same politicians hope to repeat their successful handling of Bill Clinton, who reversed the American policy of sanctions for India’s nuclear bomb tests in 1998 within two short years by proposing nuclear cooperation with New Delhi. The Enron gas-fired electricity plant outside Mumbai played a major role in that about-face.

Yoichi Shimatsu believes that the recent Mumbai attack was "a made-in-Mumbai production much like the Bollywood crime movies about D-Company’s many bloody gang wars". According to Shimatsu, a Hindu breakaway gang, in concert with Hindutva politicians and police officers, revived the turf wars in 2007 with a spike in shootings and arrests, along with gaining Pakistani approval for Dawood’s deportation. Then D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim's gang), with a few lowly recruits from Pakistan, stuck back.


Anonymous said...

D-comany According to Shimatsu, a Hindu breakaway gang,
D-company is a muslim majority gang and Chotta Rajan, the Hindu part of original gang egged on by Intelligence Bureau(after ISI's 1993 Bombay blasts) is supposedly the "thief-to-catch-a-thief" Indian answer.
Chotta Rajan is supposed to have broken away from Ibrahim family becoz of collusion with ISI to spread terror.
D-Company have no morals or friends. ISI pays good,so they work for them. If D-company is anyway implicated in this, it puts the ball squarely in ISI's court. Every intelligence agency in the world knows where Dawood is (Karachi-Dubai shuttling..but based in Karachi) and who protects that murderer.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has a lot of political, economic and security challenges. But I don't agree that it is even close to being a failed state. Not only does it have a powerful, nuclear-armed military to keep it together, it also has a functioning bureaucracy that runs day-to-day government reasonably well. Examples of failed states are Afghanistan and Somalia, both represent a far cry from the situation in Pakistan.

Besides, it is not in anyone's interest, particularly its neighbors, to see Pakistan become a failed state. The consequences of such a failed state would be unimaginable compared to Afghanistan's or Somalia's failures.

Dave, Instead of wishing for Pakistan to become a failed state, you should be praying and hoping that it does not fail. It would be disastrous for India, South Asia and the rest of the world, if it does fail.

Rahul said...

tell me one thing, Why is Pakistan so bent on promoting terrorism. It is working on Eastern front with Taliban, western front with all plethora of militant groups to kill people in India.
Do pause a moment and ask urself why do you love a bloodbath?
Is it not killing slowly Pakistan. Honest retrospection would tell what pride of Pakistan is left all over world. We still welcome Pakistani Citizens when we find them with open arms but we only deep inside that they will kill us only behind our backs, very uncourageously. What is the whole logic behind this fatutous thinking prevailing in Pakistan that these bombing can brought a country down? Pak lost wars with India several times, Still it is repeating the same all over and again?
I dont see any logic behind it, I was deeply hurt by my people been killed in this fashion by people in Pakistan but why?
Religion teaches a way of life, Its not the Life. I dont seem to understand the fanatism behind all this carnage. You kno it better, these activites are actually making ur country weak but u still continue on?
I would suggest you all. We were brothers once upon a time, we fought our independence war togather, Now u are left behind while we are marching forward. Save our resources bring peace around and actually make ur country vibes synonymous with its name.
Dont linger on false hopes!!!

Riaz Haq said...

You statement "We still welcome Pakistani Citizens when we find them with open arms but we only deep inside that they will kill us only behind our backs, very uncourageously" shows your deep bias and stereotypes of an entire nation based on a few individuals' actions. I or anyone else can respond in kind by citing examples of brutality and mass violence committed in India against minorities and the poor dalits that claims mau more innocent lives than the few high-profile acts of terror that you refer to. My advice to you is to be more thoughtful and introspective when you spew venom against Pakistanis. It is not helpful to engage in such hateful talk. I suggest that you read Cassandras within your society such Arundhati Roy, Pankaj Mishra and Yoginder Sikand to learn more about India's reality an deal with it.

Rahul said...


I see that you have altogether forgotten the major theme of what I had written about the Terrorism and you have justified them all behind the veils of "some" atrocities on Dalits and minority communities. What is this? Are you making a point that people across the borders have right to bomb my country because there are incidents of atrocities against Dalits / Minority communities in my country.

First of all there is no use covering up such heinous terrorist acts which EATS up so many innocent lives on such illogical pretentious reasons of what’s happening inside a country.
This is no excuse for bombing markets, worship places, hotels and people who are of all caste and creeds.

May be I am spewing venom but I have been continuously bruised for last 27 years under the same veils and reasons that have been cited by you. Don’t you think that now speaking up my mind is not only right but its my duty to raise voice against such mindless acts.
Now next comes the talk of atrocities against Dalits and Minority communities. Give me a country which had not had incidents of such kind. India also had such incidents. Whatever be the lack of system but I can assure you as a very responsible Indian Citizen that people are so considerate about each other NOT a HINDU for a HINDU or a MUSLIM for a MUSLIM or a DALIT for a DALIT. This is A Political language and has no similarity with the ground realities where a Indian cares about an Indian. I have people frequent in my house who are Dalit and Muslims. I have studied in Christian Schools and my fav teachers are Christians. One of my best friends are Punjabi Sikh and we dance to tunes of Punjabi songs. India is not a city. It is a country far bigger than the reasons that you put forth as arguments for the terrorizing acts. Country is not understood by essays by people. I firmly believe that to understand a Nation one must travel and talk to its people. I have been born in East raised in West and completed my education in North. So i know a good deal about India and Indians and the incidents that you pointed out. A country with had a deeply revered Muslim President, A Sikh Prime Minister and Christian Head of the largest Political Party, sadly doesn’t rhymes with all the allegations of atrocities.

I am not denying them but this does not gives A country right to do such acts or even allow groups to sustain such activities. I don’t want to name incidents because in my first remark I did not spurted any venom which you have mysteriously extracted (?); but if this would be reason to do such dastardly acts, Pakistan must look in its own house. Infact I would recommend you to talk to people who have travelled in India. There are plethora of artists, painters, craftsmen, merchants, sportsperson and journalist. This may provide you some better understanding and insights about my Nation.

Lastly sterotypes are built over experiences that keep repeating over years and years.... I think I never would need to explain them.

Even I have been reading not only from “some” writers but some internationally acclaimed and trusted news journals, writers and some forums that the social, economic structures in Pakistan has crumbled? The army is fighting its own people in Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. Why is Muhajir being treated as a second citizen and why are revered aged leaders like Mir Balach Marri being shooted? There are writings about the plight of Minority communities like Christians in Pak and the atrocities on them. Incidents like of Mukhtar Mai are heard as well as the Shia Sunni fights? I would rather go with the global Cassandras and sentiments about Pakistan.
Sir, are these incidents an invite for the UN Peace keeping force or some other countries/ or GOOD INTENTION groups to Intervene in Pakistan? Please think about it.


Riaz Haq said...


I have no problem with your condemnation of terrorism that struck Mumbai or elsewhere in India. I, too, strongly condemn all acts of terror, state-sponsored, homegrown, international or any other kind. Pakistanis, Americans and many others have been victims of acts of terror. Kashmiris, Palestinians, Iraqis, India's Muslim and Christian minorities and Afghans have suffered more than all others over an extended period of time.

What I have a problem with is the kneejerk response in India, automatically blaming Pakistan for all acts of terror on Indian soil, without thoroughly investigating and offering any proof.

Here's a piece that I read by a Pakistani peacenik A.H. Cemendtaur in Pakistan Link recently:

Who were those attackers?

The official story tells you these men were of Pakistani origin who were trained in a militant camp in Pakistan run by a banned group. But you should not be in any hurry to accept this version because it has changed many times. While the terrorists were still on the rampage, Indian police claimed they were Pakistanis. And then we were told they were British passport holders of Pakistani descent. And then the identity documents changed to Mauritius ID cards and then to Malaysian passports. And a couple of days ago we were told Pakistani identity cards have been confiscated from the dead terrorists! The last claim would make the terrorists very smart and very dumb at the same time. They were smart enough to carry out a sophisticated, highly coordinated operation, but dumb enough to carry their Pakistani identity cards with them.

How did the assailants reach India? The loudest version of the story tells you these men reached the shores of India in a boat and went straight to execute their terror plot. But then another version tells you at least one terrorist checked in Taj Mahal Hotel as a guest and used his room to store ammunition — and it makes sense because the amount of ammunition used (hand grenades and rounds after rounds of AK47) would be very hard to carry in a rubber boat and then to carry along on person, while trying to locate the targets in a teeming metropolis. But then which one is it: quick and dirty rubber boat trip, or a long operation that required hammering out logistics for days before embarking on the plan?

The official story is still being refined as I write these lines. Now we are told the terrorists carried fake identity cards of an Indian college. Should the rubber boat part of the story be forgotten now?

And then there is this phone call to a TV channel from a person claiming to be one of the terrorists killing people in Nariman House. You got to listen to it on YouTube to understand how enigmatic the clues given in that phone call are. Can someone from the Indian establishment please give this segment of the gory episode a credible spin?

In short, while the world is patiently waiting for the Indian government to get its story together, our sole link to the truth behind Mumbai attacks is Ajmal Kasab (if that indeed is his real name), the only terrorist purportedly captured alive.

Pakistan and the international community must demand talking directly to this man. A conversation with him might be the only way to find out what actually transpired in Mumbai.

And we must also fear what would ultimately happen in India in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks. One particular part of the Indian establishment would use this opportunity to not only suppress its largest religious minority, it would come hard on all separatist movements raging in various parts of that country.

You seem to be quite smart and well educated. Please think objectively through some of the questions raised in the above piece.

Rahul said...


I hear it not only from Indian media channels but also all across the world. All people cannot be wrong. That guy's father has made a statement published by the Pak News Agencies. Please leave this state of false "deny" . So if the allegations were knee-gerk or whatever, utlimately it wasnt false.

Also it is really important for the people in Pak to get out of the state sponsored environment where people really believe that a hell wrong is going out in India. It is a big truth that the country is very peaceful very Patient and accomodating(keeping quiet for such long shows it).
I would really like you to seriously rethink before citing examples of Kashmiris, Indian Christians and Muslims. I fail to understand that my explanation in last comment didnt evoked any kind of retrospection of allegations that you are leveraging. Wrong acts happens now and then, but why dont you all fail to understand the miniscuality of it and that it does NOT have remoteness only to few castes and creeds. You are also lending hand in mis-guiding people.
India would not be revered all over the world had such imaginative fragments existed.
and whenever you recall such oppressed groups and their names just try to see that a large number exist within the territorial boundaries of Pakistan. Do mention it...

It is so sad that people still feel that Religion and Creed to be Life while it is just a part of Life. What wrong did the people at Markets, Temples, Mosques, Hotel did wrong to your "oppressed" groups. There is nothing of such going on in India. People are responsible here enough to raise voice against whatever goes wrong. Also I would like you to visit India to understand the problems that this country faces and how it has focussed itself on raising the standard of people, education and social welfare. Dont put thorns in this path by burdening it with terror attacks.
What good has these terror attacks done to your "imaginative" oppressed groups in India?

I know a country and its comman men never believes in wrongdoings of this kind and same is with the common Pak citizens. but their are ample people and groups in Pak who do it.And its really high time to rein them and start thinking rationally. Also I didnt find anything credible in the story you had shown for reference because sadly it is no more than a story with no facts.


Riaz Haq said...


"I hear it not only from Indian media channels but also all across the world. All people cannot be wrong."

Well, do you remember the WMD in Iraq story? Or the thousands of innocents suspected of terror and tortured in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and CIA renditions? The Americans and Brits you cite as "across the world" were responsible for that bit of false intelligence and persecution of innocent people. If you want to believe them, then I guess you are ready to believe any thing.

You accuse me of "state of false deny". I think you're the one in denial of anything other Pakistan's guilt. As I have said, I have not ruled anything out. If there's an independent investigation and fair trial with due process that proves Pakistan's guilt, I will be ready to accept it. But, from what I hear, the likelihood of due process is pretty low in India in view of the fact that most of the people there have already presumed Kassab (if it's a real name) and Pakistan to be guilty and no lawyer is willing to represent him, a denial of basic rights of due process in a democracy.

I think you should take your own advice to "think rationally" rather than be swayed by the emotions of the times.

Rahul said...

Does that mean that the terrorist Organizations, Dawood, training camps etc etc nothing of that sort exists in Pak. The caught guy's father revelations done by Dawn is false? What does an Independent investigation mean? What can Pak teach India about Democracy? You didn’t even acknowledged some points I pointed repeatedly in all my earlier posts. These Americans and Brits as you quote were the side that Pak choose to be with and even now get Billions of Dollars as aid. Are they playing some double games with Pakistan or Pak being made a scapegoat.
Riaz, I fear "Rational" thinking can also be made debatable by you!! As you fail to see or acknowledge what is right and what is wrong and just cover up everything under the Political tone of “swayed by emotions” while I feel it is me who is putting facts and figures and questions rather than just a simple denial and illogical explanations.

Riaz Haq said...

As I said before, my mind is open to the possibility that Pakistanis may be involved in Mumbai. It is your mind that is closed to the possibility that there may be some other group.

Let's wait and see if there is a real investigation and trial rather just the media reports of who said what and dubious sources such as CIA, MI5 or RAW or Indian officials blaming every sinister thing on Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a BBC report today, indicating that India has not shared any info on Mumbai attacks with Interpol or Pak govt:

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble, who is in Islamabad, said its only knowledge of what happened had come from the media.

Pakistan also says it has had no firm information from Delhi.

Question: What are the Indian authorities hiding?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post story on Indian intelligence agency's incompetence:

India’s intelligence agency sparked outrage in Pakistan and self-deprecatory jokes at home this week after it listed ordinary Pakistani shopkeepers as dreaded terrorists on a mission to attack some of India’s landmark institutions.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s premier intelligence agency, issued an advisory to state governments, saying five trained militants from Pakistan’s banned Lashkar-i-Taiba group had sneaked into India with fake identities to attack a nuclear facility, oil refinery, sea port and defense academy.

On Wednesday, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left New Delhi after some tough talk on Pakistan, the Mumbai police released the names and photographs of the five men.

Within hours, a Pakistani television channel claimed that three of the men on the list were shopkeepers and a guard living in Lahore.

“India Bungles, Pak laughs,” the Mail Today newspaper said of the embarrassing blunder. Twitter buzzed with unflattering jokes about India’s RAW, with some tweeters offering their own list to the agency.

The revelations sparked outrage in Pakistan. Muhammad Fayyaz Butt, the head of a traders’ association for an electronics market where two of the suspects own shops, condemned India’s “irresponsible and biased attitude.”

The two shopkeepers went to the Lahore High Court on Thursday, seeking protection from possible action against them by India.

Indian Law Minister Salman Khurshid offered an explanation to reporters in New Delhi on Friday: “We can’t be too careful. We have had some bad experiences in the past. And therefore to err on the right side is something we can’t complain about.”

It was not the first time that India has made such a faux pas. A year ago, the government released a most-wanted list of 50 Indian fugitives who it claimed were hiding in Pakistan. Two men on the list turned out to be in India, one of them a prisoner in a Mumbai jail.