Mumbai bombings

Published: July 14, 2011

Indian home minister P. Chidambaram (C) looks around as he vists the blast site at Opera house in Mumbai on July 13, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Whenever there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, the first reaction of all Pakistanis is, ‘Hopefully we had nothing to do with it’. It is too early to say with any certainty who is behind the Mumbai bomb blasts of July 13 that killed over 20 people, but early suspicions are focusing on the Indian Mujhaideen, a group that had previously struck in Pune and Delhi. Terrorist attacks are always traumatic, particularly since this one took place in a city that suffered badly in the 26/11 attacks of 2008. In that case, the Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attack so it would have not been unexpected had India chosen to make Pakistan the scapegoat this time round. That they have chosen to not cast any blame yet is to their credit.

The timing of the Mumbai triple-attack would suggest that there may have been a Pakistan angle. After three years of progressively worsening relations, there had been a slight uptick in recent months. Later this month, the foreign ministers of the two countries are supposed to meet in Delhi. If Pakistan is implicated in any way in the attack, it could lead to the meeting being cancelled and the recent thaw would surely be reversed. Even if a home-grown group is responsible for the attack, it will have to be established that Pakistan in no way aided them.

The only people who will win as result of such attacks are the hawks on both sides of the border. The right-wing in India does not need any proof to set off another round of Pakistan-bashing and we can certainly expect the BJP to launch further tirades against us. Similarly, the military establishment and its lackeys in Pakistan will accuse the Indians of conspiring against us. It is essential that calm leadership from both sides thwart these retrograde forces. The initial signs are positive, with both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani unequivocally condemning the attacks. If we can emerge from the attacks without damaging our relations with India, it will be the first sign that we are ready for peace with our neighbour.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.

Reader Comments (9)

  • antony
    Jul 14, 2011 - 10:25PM

    Hahaha ! You have equated an opposition party without power from my country to your all powerful military in rousing tensions without searching for the facts ..I dont dispute your point at all . Atleast in Indian case the institution that is military has not been tampered from its intended duties which they are doing living in barracks and only called upon on threat situation.

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  • Babur Mughal
    Jul 15, 2011 - 12:54AM

    If India didn’t explicitly accuse Pakistan, it’s not because of any generosity, and it ‘doesn’t go to their credit’ as the editorial writer has said. India didn’t accuse Pakistan because they know that most low-impact blasts across India in the past four years were the work of a group of Indian military officers and accomplices from Hindu terror groups. These people were trying to pitch India against its own Muslim minority and also against Pakistan and Kashmiris.

    As for Antony, the gentleman from India commenting in the preceding comment, your are wrong my friend when you say Indian military institution isn’t involved in things other than its duties.

    Who killed 43 Pakistani visitors on a train near New Delhi in 2007? Let me remind you that eight serving and retired Indian military intelligence officers are involved, with help from Hindu terror groups.

    It is unfortunate that most Indians can’t see the sickness in the fact that 43 Pakistanis perish in a plot on Indian soil while visiting India in good faith. By comparison, no Indian visitor to Pakistan has been the subject of any expression of hate in the past 64 years. Just because the British and American media doesn’t cover how messy your country and society is doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t know. Think about it.

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  • Rejin
    Jul 15, 2011 - 1:24AM

    No matter where these terrorist strikes whether in India or in Pakistan, they can be certain about their future because in spite of all their ideological rhetoric their is no justification for the shedding of innocent blood. So rest assured terrorists and do not worry because all of you are going to HELL! certainly.

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  • tintoo
    Jul 15, 2011 - 3:18AM

    @Antony..ohh really we were not aware of it..thanks to inform us….tell us some thing which we dont know..if not then dont be a cry baby and stop repeating this all pakistan military and ISI story again and again..my advice to people like you is that when you comment it is better if you talk some thing else other then critisizing pakistani military establishment..so that we can get some thing new out of from your heads…which can lead towards good relations..

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  • Anup
    Jul 15, 2011 - 5:23AM

    One thing I could recommend as a gesture of goodwill that will prove Pakistan’s bona fides in this case is the immediate handing over to India of the 5 people on trial for 26/11 in Pakistan. This will prove a very effective way for the Pakistani govt to push back against the increasingly negative narrative the global media is pushing these days. In the absence of any clear statements of blame/responsibility, the media will merely extrapolate what they know about Pakistan, India, 26/11 and terrorism. In that case Pakistan will (and already has in some quarters) be blamed merely be default. It amazes me that the first papers to point the finger this time around were in the nyt and the washington post and not in India.

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  • Feroz
    Jul 15, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Cracking this particular case is going to be a huge challenge. There were no intelligence inputs and no claims made by any group. Also collecting evidence in pelting rain is a tall task as crucial leads would have been washed away in seconds. Better to avoid speculation and let the Police do the investigation job they are paid to do.

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  • Rakib
    Jul 15, 2011 - 1:26PM

    Sad it would be if it is eventually found out that a Pakistani group was involved. Sadder still it would be for average Indians if it is proved that Pakistanis had nothing to do with it. There is comfort of sorts in knowing that the “enemy” did it since the alternative of “one’s own” doing it is terrible to contemplate. For, if not Pakistani it has to be an Indian group. There is no third possibility. One does not believe even for a moment that Israelis or Americans or Martians have anything to do with all this. So far, the indications are it is an Indian group. Probably “Indian Mujahideen”.

    It is time for Hindutva-wallahs of Indian Right to chew alive PM Singh & HM Chidambaram.

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  • R
    Jul 15, 2011 - 5:41PM

    The right wing in India and other democratic societies does not compare to the right in Islamic societies like Pakistan. The right in the former does not support institutionalized extremism and bigotry. That is not the case in Pakistan. In the former there is are choices between left and right in terms of governance. In Pakistan it is one continum of ‘right’ conservatism. So to compare BJP (and Christian evangelicals) to the men in Khaki and the mosque is false. It may bring some consolation but no one around the world is buying into this far fetched attempt at parity.

    BJP is the one that created the opening with Pakistan. Being the party in opposition and even otherwise, it is doing its duty by asking the government of India on how Pakistan is dealing with all those involved in terror acts in India.

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  • Rakib
    Jul 16, 2011 - 7:55AM

    @R:

    Yes, the comparison is odious. India-Pakistan are very different countries,to state the obvious. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and Islam is the State Religion. Therefore, as things stand today the distinction among hard right,right,left (if at all) & centrists of Pakistan has to be within those parameters set by Constitution.

    OTOH,since 1976 India has formally declared itself “Secular”. Despite that, a Muslim set up is part of a coalition ministry in one place, a Sikh religious outfit in another and a Hindutva party rules in yet another place. Perfectly legal, of course. The religious frenzy of Hindutva-party of “Secular” India is obvious from the fact that it has set the task of constructing a temple in place of a mosque, which it had demolished, as its avowed objective. Had they come to power in late 90s on their own strength (and not thru coalition) the fellows would have tried it too Just as bigots worldwide they are like insane kids ready to be singed for the pleasure of playing with the fire that they can light but can not control, much less extinguish.

    Democracy has given them the right to be wrong but by that token their wrongs do not become right. The religious Right in India does support Bigotry in a blatant manner. It is for Indians to know the nature, not only of Indian Muslim League, SIMI, Ind Mujahideen and Akalis (apart from irreligious Maoists) but also of RSS, VHP, Bajarang Dal, and other members of Sangh Parivar of which BJP and Shiv Sena are the political wing.

    It is for Mahatma’s Indians to introspect about the road they travelled with Advani on his Rath Yatra that left death & destruction in its wake starting from Ayodhya to Mumbai via Godhara.

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