Posts Tagged ‘BJP’

al Jazeera‘s Riz Khan’s interview with Pak PM Yousuf Raza Gilani on Indo-Pak relations post-26/11, US relations with Obama, Afghanistan and the troubles with re-building Pak’s economy along with fighting terrorism while the US is not recognizing Pak’s borders. (more…)

With continued terror in place for Iraq and Afghanistan, promised terror for Pakistan, Obama’s place to change American foreign policy lies US relations with the UN and Israel. (more…)

“Special edition program of BrassTacks, Zaid Hamid once again strongly and conclusively challenges and dispels the Indian lies and propaganda surrounding the Mumbai blasts” (more…)



The New York Times:

Calling the Mumbai terrorist attacks a “conspiracy” hatched on Pakistani soil, India on Monday handed Pakistan what it said was the first comprehensive evidence linking them to Pakistan and demanded that those responsible be tried in Indian courts, a demand likely to be rebuffed.

Speaking Monday evening to reporters here, the Indian foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, refused to say whether the suspected conspirators were connected to current or retired government officials, but said that it was unlikely that a sophisticated, commando-style assault, like the one in Mumbai in late November, “could occur without anybody anywhere in the establishment knowing it was happening.”

While Mr. Menon refused to specify whether India had evidence of complicity of Pakistan’s military or spy agency officials, he did not rule it out. “We are not going to say this is where the line ends,” he said.

In a presentation to a number of foreign diplomats earlier in the day, Indian officials detailed the involvement of retired Pakistani military officials in training the gunmen who carried out the Mumbai attacks, according to two diplomats present.

The envoys, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with typical diplomatic protocol, said the 100-page dossier included transcripts of telephone conversations between the gunmen and their superiors in Pakistan during the course of the attacks; transcripts of interrogations of the sole surviving gunman, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab; phone numbers in Pakistan that the attackers called as they sailed across the Arabian Sea from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai, India; and details of their movements, recovered from a GPS unit they had used.

The Indian authorities say the gunmen were citizens of Pakistan and belonged to a banned terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The police have said that during interrogation, Mr. Kasab said he had been trained by retired Pakistani military men.

Immediately after the attacks, India assigned blame to “elements” in Pakistan, taking pains not to accuse members of the government, which pledged to cooperate and announced the closing of camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

During a stop in Islamabad on Monday, the United States assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Richard A. Boucher, said that it was “clear” the attackers had “links that lead to Pakistani soil.”

But he also said that in the aftermath of the attacks, the authorities in Pakistan had “done quite a bit,” and that a “significant” number of members of Lashkar-e-Taiba had been arrested. “Pakistan has a number of people in custody” suspected in the planning and execution of the attacks, he said.

Mr. Boucher declined, however, to answer a question about whether evidence suggested any involvement or support for the Mumbai plot, directly or indirectly, by the Pakistani government.

According to a Pakistani official, Pakistani authorities have obtained confessions from members of Lashkar-e-Taiba who said they had been involved in the attacks. One of them, according to the official, is Zarrar Shah, the militant group’s communications chief. American intelligence officials say they believe he has served as a conduit between Lashkar and the premier Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

The Pakistani government confirmed that India had handed over materials about the Mumbai attacks and said the evidence was being examined by “concerned authorities,” according to the country’s state news agency.

Paki Pres. Asif Ali Zardari and PM Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated Pak’s devotion to fighting terror and the importance of healthy relations with the US and India, as the FBI and China will be involved in Pak’s investigation. Foreign Secy. Salman Bashir has expressed that Pak “will evaluate the information provided by India so far”

PM Gilani: “Pakistan’s persistent efforts to defuse the current tensions with India, and his government’s commitment to take action against any Pakistani national in case credible evidence is provided,”

India’s home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram hinted at Pak’s rogue Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) involvement over the weekend — as we have.

Indian Foreign Secy. Shivshankar Menon: “The relationship between Lashkar-e-Toiba and the ISI has been historical. It is a very fine line to draw between state actors and non-state actors. Whoever is responsible has to pay… We will follow evidence wherever it leads. It is hard to believe something of this scale, which amounts to commando operation, would occur without anyone in the establishment knowing. We are not going to say this is where the line ends. We have to continue with the investigations.”

India’s primary minority Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) still thinks 26/11 is a game of political football:

By warning Pakistan that it would have to pay “enormously” if another 26/11 takes place, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was actually “condoning the present act”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said here Monday.

The BJP said that Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that the “price they (Pakistan) will pay if this is repeated, I think, will be enormous” was a testimony to the bailout plan.

“Right from 26/11, the union government has launched an offensive in coercive diplomacy. The BJP supported the move in the national interest. But Pakistan is in continuous denial mode till today. It seems that the government of India is now warning Pakistan for the future, in a way condoning the present act,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference here.

The government must come clean on the actions it has envisaged in the face of Pakistan’s denial, he said.



Today, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (right) went to Pakistan on an unscheduled visit to “defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.”

This comes as India deploys more troops to the Rajastan border and Pak military goes on red alert:

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Pakistan, said the local media attributed its reports to military sources, who were confirming that the navy, air force and army were on red alert.

“The Pakistani air force have been seen visibly in a number of locations flying close to the Pakistani-India border in what is being described as an aggressive patrolling mode, following reports that India is planning pre-emptive strikes against locations in Pakistan,” Hyder reported.

“Chiefs of the three forces are meeting in what is being described as an emergency meeting in general headquarters in Rawalpindi.

“Only after the meeting is over will we come to know if it is a red alert or a heightened state of alert.”

Hyder said that observers are saying that the Congress party in India has lost prestige due to the Mumbai attacks and, therefore, may try a show of strength in Pakistan.

Last week, Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat in Islamabad to protest against recent alleged airspace violations by Indian warplanes.

Indian fighter jets had crossed into Pakistani airspace over Kashmir and Punjab province, the government said on December 13.

Pakistan said its own fighter jets were scrambled to chase off the intruders, but it also played down the incident by describing the violations as “technical” and “inadvertent”.

India denied any violation of Pakistani airspace.

Pak’s  ‘heightened state of alert’ comes after weeks of rhetoric ranging from ambiguous to sabre-rattling from within India that continues to this day:

[Indian] Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee says that Islamic militant groups based in Pakistan endanger the entire world, and demanded that Islamabad permanently dismantle the “infrastructure of terrorism” on its soil.

India says the gunmen who carried out last months terror attacks in Mumbai were Pakistanis, and were trained by a radical Islamic group, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in the country. Islamabad says New Delhi has given no evidence that the attacks were planned or carried out by extremists in Pakistan.

Mr. Mukherjee says Islamabad is resorting to a “policy of denial” and seeking to deflect the blame.

“We will expect from Pakistan to do whatever they committed to do, to fulfill their promises, to fulfill their commitments. As responsible members of the community of nations, no nation can shirk its responsibility to fulfill the commitment which it gives to the other nation,” he said….

The Indian foreign minister also says efforts by the international community to persuade Pakistan to clamp down on extremists based in the country are not enough. He says New Delhi is prepared to act alone and “will take all measures necessary to deal with the situation.”

“And in that process to pursue that objective, we are not freezing any option, we will explore the possibilities because the obligation is ours, our people have been killed, our persons have been attacked, our installations have been destroyed,” he added.

No one questions the cancer of ISI, Pak’s rogue intelligence agency, and incoming Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has recently said that Lashkar-e-Ta’iba (LeT) has “morphed into a more al-Qa’ida-esque and radicalized entity.”

The problem is that Sen. Kerry (monitoring Pak eletions on the left) criticizes Pak for this and ignores the biggest difference between LeT and al-Qa’ida: al-Qa’ida was closely related to the Taleban which ruled the State of Afghanistan; LeT is not at all related to the ruling civilian government of Pak. Sen. Kerry knows this and we know that he knows this, as he monitored Pak’s elections this year, backed the Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) PM and presidential candidates, and stated after the PM election:

“First and foremost, this election is a tribute to the Pakistani people,…

“The results underscore the importance of the United States having a Pakistan policy that centers on the people of Pakistan, not any one political leader. It is in our national interest to demand accountability for the investment of American aid, and it is essential to marginalize the radicals and extremists. This can be a decisive moment for the future of democracy in Pakistan if this election sparks a lasting transition to civilian democratic rule. We will watch closely in the coming months to ensure that the Pakistani parties seize on this historic opportunity.”

With the ambiguous sabre-rattling in India and from the Corporate War Party in the US, there are some people brainstorming sensible solutions such as Indo-Pak free trade to break down the nationalistic rhetoric, Pat Buchanan’s article making the case that war is what terrorists want, and pleas from regional organizations and scholars to not feed that terrorist propaganda with more war.



BBC News

Saeed has been put under house arrest for three months: BBC News

BBC News:

Cleric Hafiz Mohammad Saeed set up the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India says planned and carried out the attacks.

Pakistan is also closing offices of Mr Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, after it was put on a UN blacklist.

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry told the BBC that Jamaat-ud-Dawa buildings would be shut across the country immediately.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani promised Pakistan would comply with a UN Security Council demand to list Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist group.

Once a group has been placed on the list, action can be taken against it under the country’s anti-terrorism law.

Under that law, all assets of the organisation can be seized and its offices and other places of business shut down, our correspondent says.

Mr Saeed officially quit the leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2001 to become head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Also on Thursday, an Indian magistrate extended policy custody of the lone surviving suspected gunman from the Mumbai attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab, until 24 December.

Pak’s actions follow Indian Interior Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that “the finger of suspicion unmistakeably points to the territory of our neighbour Pakistan” after India’s Parliament joined to begin discussing revisions to their anti-terror laws and the UNSC listed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JD) as a terrorist group:

The investigation conducted by India, Pakistan and other cooperating countries has produced new evidence that Lashkar e Tayyiba operatives were directly engaged in planning and providing material support and assistance for the series of Mumbai urban attacks that shook the international community as well as India. Based upon this investigation, and the formal request of the Government of India, the United Nations Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions committee agreed December 10th to expanded its designation of Lashkar e Tayyiba to specifically include 4 of its leaders, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Mohmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. The United States had been pushing for this action since last May. The UN Committee has now also agreed to clarify that the Lashkar e Tayyiba designation also applies to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), which has long operated as an LET front organization (see below).

I expressed my concerns here two years ago with the UN Committee’s failure to designate Jammat-ud-Dawa along with Laskkar e Tayyiba, or to designate Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who was the founder and leader of both organization. Leaving Jammat and Muhammad Saeed undesignated left them free to recruit , arm and solicit funds for Lashkar’s terrorist activities. I wrote:

“Jamaat was established by the same group that led Lashkar-e-Taiba in order to circumvent the sanctions measures that flowed from this designation. Yet, it took the Administration another six months to get around to confirming this linkage and to designating Jamaat as a successor/partner organization to Lashkar-e-taiba. … But what is still surprising is that no action has yet been taken to designate Lashkar’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who is also the head of Jamaat ud-Dawa….(H)olding the leaders responsible, and penalizing them, is even more important and would be a much more effective step then seeking only to close down the charities they run. Experience has shown that you can’t truly shut down these operations unless you also put their leaders and organizers out of business.’’

Lashkar-e-Taiba was founded in 1989 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan as the military wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an Islamic fundamentalist organisation of the Ahle-Hadith sect in Pakistan. The MDI was based in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan and was headed by Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who also became the Amir of the LeT. Its first presence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was recorded in 1993 when 12 Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) in tandem with the Islami Inquilabi Mahaz, a terrorist outfit then active in the Poonch district of J&K. Lashkar has established cooperative ties with religious militant groups throughout the middle east, southeast asia and in areas of the former soviet union. It is believed to have also been active in supporting the insurgency in Chechnya. The organization was designated as a terrorist group by the US Treasury Department in December 2001.. However, Pakistan, then a member of the UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee was able to forestall a UN decision to also designate the group. Lashkar was finally added to the UN’s consolidated al Qaeda designation list on May 2, 2005, after Pakistan’s tenure on the Al Qaeda Committee had ended.

Pak PM Gilani reiterated that “Pakistan is a responsbile and peace-loving nation and would not be provoked by India’s jingoistic attitude.”

Indo-Pak’s air forces and navies remain on high alert while working to avoid war as India calls on Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects and the BJP continues its nationalistic sabre-rattling as the political football game continues:

India has called for Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects after the terror attacks that left 171 dead, a move that has raised tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. However, India’s foreign minister said Thursday that war is “not the solution.”

The list of fugitives includes militants suspected in last month’s Mumbai attacks, as well as those who have committed “other crimes” against India in the past, Foreign Minister tion> said in his first speech to parliament since the Mumbai siege last month.

Fugitives who have committed crimes in India are sheltering in Pakistan, he said. He added that he had told Pakistani leaders, “You arrest them, and hand them over to us.”

Islamabad said it will arrest anyone proved linked to terror crimes and try them in Pakistani courts. Authorities there have insisted that the government was not tied to the attacks, which they say were carried out by “non-state actors.”

Mukherjee dismissed that argument Thursday.

“Are the non-state actors coming from heaven? Or are they coming from a different planet?” he said.

Pakistani authorities have arrested two senior leaders from Lashkar-e-Taiba, the banned Pakistani-based militant group suspected in the Mumbai attacks. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are in Pakistani custody and are under investigation.

Officials have said Lakhvi was arrested Sunday in a raid on a militant camp close to the Indian border.

Lal Krishna Advani, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which is looking to unseat the Congress party in the coming elections, said the raids on Lashkar were not enough.

“We should not be fooled by this kind of actions,” Advani said before parliament. “We consider it a war.”

On Wednesday, police identified two more people involved in the training of the 10 attackers.

One of the trainers, identified only as Khafa and described as a senior operative in the banned Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was their main handler after the men were selected for the attack, Rakesh Maria, Mumbai’s chief police investigator.

The other man, another senior Lashkar militant identified as Abu Hamza, was responsible for much of the training they received while sequestered in a house in Azizabad, Pakistan, for three months to prepare for the attack, Maria said.

Abu Hamza was believed to be one of two gunmen responsible for the 2005 attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, that killed one scientist, Maria said. After that attack, Abu Hamza escaped back to Pakistan, he said.


A Pakistani student shouted anti-US and anti-Indian slogans at a protest in Islamabad Wednesday. ANJUM NAVEED/ap

Distrust: A Pakistani student shouted anti-US and anti-Indian slogans at a protest in Islamabad Wednesday. ANJUM NAVEED/AP

It has to be colder than a witch’s tit in hell when I tip my cap to Keith Olbermann and Thomas Friedman in the same week.

All I can say is that I hope the Devil’s rubbing a lot of sticks together today.

Mr. Friedman of The New York Times proposed a rallying cry for the Pakistani people — the civilians who voted to oust a military dictatorship twice this year. In his Op-Ed yesterday, “Calling All Pakistanis,” Mr. Friedman hits the nail on the head:

On Feb. 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?

After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets….

First of all, it seems to me that the Pakistani government, which is extremely weak to begin with, has been taking this mass murder very seriously, and, for now, no official connection between the terrorists and elements of the Pakistani security services has been uncovered.

At the same time, any reading of the Pakistani English-language press reveals Pakistani voices expressing real anguish and horror over this incident. Take for instance the Inter Press Service news agency article of Nov. 29 from Karachi: “ ‘I feel a great fear that [the Mumbai violence] will adversely affect Pakistan and India relations,’ the prominent Karachi-based feminist poet and writer Attiya Dawood told I.P.S. ‘I can’t say whether Pakistan is involved or not, but whoever is involved, it is not the ordinary people of Pakistan, like myself, or my daughters. We are with our Indian brothers and sisters in their pain and sorrow.’ ”

But while the Pakistani government’s sober response is important, and the sincere expressions of outrage by individual Pakistanis are critical, I am still hoping for more. I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of “ordinary people” against the Mumbai bombers, not for my sake, not for India’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake.

Why? Because it takes a village. The best defense against this kind of murderous violence is to limit the pool of recruits, and the only way to do that is for the home society to isolate, condemn and denounce publicly and repeatedly the murderers — and not amplify, ignore, glorify, justify or “explain” their activities.

Sure, better intelligence is important. And, yes, better SWAT teams are critical to defeating the perpetrators quickly before they can do much damage. But at the end of the day, terrorists often are just acting on what they sense the majority really wants but doesn’t dare do or say. That is why the most powerful deterrent to their behavior is when the community as a whole says: “No more. What you have done in murdering defenseless men, women and children has brought shame on us and on you.”

Why should Pakistanis do that? Because you can’t have a healthy society that tolerates in any way its own sons going into a modern city, anywhere, and just murdering everyone in sight — including some 40 other Muslims — in a suicide-murder operation, without even bothering to leave a note. Because the act was their note, and destroying just to destroy was their goal. If you do that with enemies abroad, you will do that with enemies at home and destroy your own society in the process.

“I often make the comparison to Catholics during the pedophile priest scandal,” a Muslim woman friend wrote me. “Those Catholics that left the church or spoke out against the church were not trying to prove to anyone that they are anti-pedophile. Nor were they apologizing for Catholics, or trying to make the point that this is not Catholicism to the non-Catholic world. They spoke out because they wanted to influence the church. They wanted to fix a terrible problem” in their own religious community.

We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective. That is what is needed here.

Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.

This was a timely article that serves its purpose — to point out the absurdity of the Pakistani people’s lack of relative disdain for the Mumbai attacks.

A similar article can be written for India, though. FOX News Middle East correspondent, Reena Ninan, has been in India reporting and blogging for days, observing complete unrest and hatred in Mumbai during a rally on 3 Dec:

1:15pm: As we made our way to The Taj Hotel LIVE shot position, just before sunset, we knew we had problems.  Thousands of Mumbai residents were marching to the hotel.  It was supposed to be a peaceful solidarity march but there was lots of negative energy.

3:13pm: The crowds are getting out of control.  We can’t find our driver to head to The Oberoi Hotel for lives. No one has a cell phone signal.  Crowds keep streaming in from all directions.

We decide to take a cab.  All the taxi drivers refuse to take anyone.  After the fifth cab refused us. I just opened the door to the sixth cab and got in.  Cameraman Pierre, Producer Mark and Varuna, and I pile in.

4:42pm: [Cameraman] Pierre was attacked by an angry mob last night while we where in between LIVE shots.  One man started shouting and threatened to beat him.  They were looking to pick a fight.  Varuna stepped in and spoke to them in Hindi.  That managed to calm them down.   People are so emotionally charged here.  Tonight feels like the climax.  We took no chances.  We headed to the area of The Oberoi Hotel to do our LIVE shots, instead.

Some signs read:

“Die Pakistan Die”

“Make Pakistan history”

“8% GDP growth, 100% terrorism growth”

The Christian Science Monitor digs deeper:

Akash Maheshwari has no doubts about what will happen in the standoff between India and Pakistan. The Indian businessman says his country will present its evidence that Pakistani-trained militants carried out last week’s attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) – and Pakistan will do nothing.

Years of diplomacy have not stopped the violence, he says, adding: “If we don’t take military action, then the government is a fool.”…

“India blamed Pakistan too quickly,” says Yahya Khan, a truck driver in Karachi. If India wants to go to war, he says, “we are ready.”

In Pakistan and India, old suspicions have reemerged after the Mumbai attacks, and there are signs that public anger on each side of the border is shaping diplomacy. The political posturing threatens to polarize the situation further, imperiling four years of steady progress between the two nations.

“It seemed as though the stage was being set for substantive advances,” says Najmuddin Shaikh, a former foreign secretary of Pakistan. “Nothing could have been less welcome at this time.”

“After 9/11, America acted quickly to finish Afghanistan,” says Mohammed Ismail, a tout for a nearby crafts store, noting the initial success of the US operation in Afghanistan.

Mumbai was India’s 9/11, he says, but “in India, we do not do such action.”

“If I were the prime minister, I would finish it, fully and finally,” he adds.

BLOOMBERG

Manmohan Singh won India's first confidence vote in a decade this year. Photo: BLOOMBERG

The Indian gov’t absolutely needs to better communicate to the Indian people that the “‘elements’ within Pakistan” that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed last Thursday for the Mumbai attacks are ISI, that ISI is a rogue agency within the Pakistani power structure, and that the goals are not to attack Pakistan and its people, but to aid the Paki gov’t of ridding Pakistan of this this cancerous cell — in part — by helping them shape public opinion in the way that Mr. Friedman is suggesting. This will weaken the safe harboring of terror cells within Pakistan and lessen the muscle of ISI.

(I’m approaching ISI as I do with the domestic Federal Reserve monetary system of fractional-reserve banking in the US.)

When an institution is inherently corrupt, its authority is absolutely illegitimate; therefore, you change the methods and people of the institution GET RID OF IT!

ISI cannot simply be reformed. It must be dismantled to the point of non-existence like a tumor. The tumor of terror is precisely the reason why the “War on Terror” cannot be fought territorially via the demolition of flesh, bone, and blood.

It cannot be fought substituting men at the top of a State’s power structure alone i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, and now, Pakistan.

It cannot be fought by simply freezing assets, economic sanctions on States, long distance arial strikes, and lofty, demonizing rhetoric as that 60 year old trick has seen the result of more devastating terror, worldwide.

Ridding Pakistan of ISI cannot be done with the stroke of a pen. Every effort to dismantle the agency, solely from within the Paki gov’t, will face the risk of catastrophic blowback — terror attacks from those financed by ISI — as every troop who enters the Afghan-Paki border, every bomb dropped there, and every terrorist killed there does.

Terrorism doesn’t come from hate alone. That hate comes from clever propaganda which exploits the poor and down-trodden — revising history to the extent of scapegoating in order to create a demon, not human enough to be protected by the grace of God against being slaughtered — and that hate is organized and financed into terrorism.

The best weapon against this propaganda is a good example of what it means to be free, cooperate, understand, love, and protect these virtues.

I’ve read a lot of mumbo-jumbo about what Gandhi would think of the Mumbai attacks over the last week. Yes, Bapu would be sad right now to see this violence. But, as an anarchist, Bapu would also be disgusted at the inhumane pandering Mr. Singh is doing to be in favor with the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) months before an election.

This sabre-rattling, in the effort to further legitimize the unjustified authority of the State, is exactly what Bapu demonstrated against — resisting illegitmate authority, performing hunger strikes, and voicing appeals (based, not on ideology, but on reason) that drew a nation toward a cvilian — which resulted in our Father’s assassination.



The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the Mumbai attacks:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-305-2008
December 02, 2008

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

INDIA: ‘Super cop’ is no solution to terrorist threat

The Mumbai terrorist attack was one more occasion for the Indian politicians to call for calm, peace and national unity. Political parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist) convened a special Politburo session and repeated the rhetoric, in addition to demanding that the Government of India approach the UN Security Council. The Hindu fundamentalists like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made use of the incident to stir up further anti-Pakistan, essentially anti-Muslim, sentiments.

The Union Home Minister Mr. Shivraj V Patil resigned. The Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh convened urgent meetings with high-ranking officers, ministers and defence chiefs. The meeting decided to speed-up the formation of a Federal Investigation Agency and to set up four new centres of the National Security Guards (NSG) in the country.

The final word was that of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress. Mrs. Gandhi gave the ultimatum that her party will tolerate no more terrorism and called upon the Indians to eradicate it from the country. The question is whether the Government of India has any responsibility to prevent such incidents, or whether the people has to embark upon justice delivery themselves? [read full statement]

A diverse group of Indo-Pak scholars and activists have also signed and released a joint statement in India and Pakistan on 30 Nov 2008 to the press:

Mumbai bloodbath
We are deeply shocked and horrified at the bloody mayhem in Mumbai, which has claimed more than a hundred and ninty lives and caused grievous injuries to several hundred people, besides sending a wave of panic and terror across South Asia and beyond. We convey our profound feelings of sorrow and sympathies to the grieving families of the unfortunate victims of this heinous crime and express our solidarity with them.

As usual, all sorts of speculations are circulating about the identity of the perpetrators of this act of barbarism. The truth about who are directly involved in this brutal incident and who could be the culprits behind the scene is yet to come out and we do not wish to indulge in any guesswork or blame game at this point. However, one is intrigued at its timing. Can it be termed a coincidence that it has happened on the day the Home Secretaries of the two countries concluded their talks in Islamabad and announced several concrete steps to move forward in the peace process, such as the opening of several land routes for trade – Kargil, Wagah-Attari, Khokhropar etc –, relaxation in the visa regime, a soft and liberal policy on the issue of release of prisoners and joint efforts to fight terrorism? Again, is it just a coincidence that on this fateful day the Foreign Minister of Pakistan was in the Indian capital holding very useful and productive talks with his Indian counterpart? One thing looks crystal clear. The enemies of peace and friendship between the two countries, whatever be the label under which they operate, are un-nerved by these healthy developments and are hell bent on torpedoing them.

We are of the considered opinion that the continued absence of peace in South Asia – peace between and within states – particularly in relation to India and Pakistan , is one of the root causes of most of the miseries the people of the region are made to endure. It is the major reason why our abundantly resource-rich subcontinent is wallowing in poverty, unemployment, disease, and ignorance and why militarism, religious and sectarian violence and political, economic and social injustice are eating into the very vitals of our societies, even after more than six decades of independence from colonial rule.

At this moment of unmitigated tragedy, the first thing we call upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to do is to acknowledge the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people of India and Pakistan ardently desire peace and, therefore, the peace process must be pursued with redoubled speed and determination on both sides. The sooner the ruling establishments of India and Pakistan acknowledge this fact and push ahead with concrete steps towards lasting peace and harmony in the subcontinent, the better it will be not only for the people of our two countries but also for the whole of South Asia and the world. While the immediate responsibility for unmasking the culprits of Mumbai and taking them to task surely rests with the Government of India, all of us in South Asia have an obligation to join hands and go into the root causes of why and how such forces of evil are motivated and emboldened to resort to such acts of anti-people terror.

It is extremely important to remind the leaderships of Pakistan and India that issuing statements and signing agreements and declarations will have meaning only when they are translated into action and implemented honestly, in letter and spirit and without any further loss of time. It assumes added urgency in the prevailing conditions in South Asia , with the possibility that so many different forces prone to religious, sectarian and other forms of intolerance and violence may be looking for ways to arm themselves with more and more sophisticated weapons of mass murder and destruction. The bloodbath in Mumbai must open the eyes of our governments, if it has not already happened.

We urge upon the governments of India and Pakistan to immediately take the following steps:

  1. Cessation of all hostile propaganda against each other;
  2. Joint action to curb religious extremism of all shades in both countries;
  3. Continue and intensify normalization of relations and peaceful resolution of all conflicts between the two countries;
  4. Facilitation of trade and cooperation between the two countries and in all of South Asia. We welcome the fact that the Srinagar-Muzaffarab ad and Poonch-Rawlakot borders have been opened for trade and that the opening of the road between Kargil and Skardu is in the pipeline.
  5. Immediate abolition of the current practice of issuing city-specific and police reporting visa and issue country-valid visa without restrictions at arrival point, simultaneously initiating necessary steps to introduce as early as possible a visa-free travel regime, to encourage friendship between the peoples of both countries;
  6. Declaration by India and Pakistan of No First Use of atomic weapons;
  7. Concrete measures towards making South Asia nuclear-free;
  8. Radical reduction in military spending and end to militarisation.