Monday, December 08, 2008


clipped from:

Condoleezza Rice to the two countries in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks has only added more fuel to the fire

Rice publicly backed India's demands on Pakistan for tough measures against the alleged perpetrators of the atrocity.

reinforced the message that the Pakistani government had to provide "unequivocal assistance" to India.

rash of leaks in the Indian and US media blaming
Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba

Citing unnamed Indian officials
India had identified Yusuf Muzammil as the man who orchestrated the plan

captured gunmen, Ajmal Amir Kasab, who, it is said, admitted to being a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba and training in Pakistan.

in today's Hindu went one step further to claim that India had "proof" that the Pakistani military intelligence—the Inter-Services Intelligence agency—was involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks

Significantly, the New York Times yesterday cited an unnamed former US Defence Department official as saying that "American intelligence agencies had determined that former officers from Pakistan's Army and its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped to train the Mumbai attackers".

No evidence

Several articles have cast doubt on even the basic claims made about the detained gunman
British-based Times noted that Pakistani officials had been unable to trace Kasab to the village of Faridkot in Punjab

contradictory stories in the Indian press variously described Kasab as a small-time pickpocket, an impoverished villager and a well-educated youth fluent in English
President Zardari cast doubt over the identity of the arrested gunman, saying: "We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he is definitely a Pakistani

He blamed "stateless actors" operating throughout the region, and reiterated that Pakistan "itself has been a victim of terrorism and [is] fighting the menace resolutely".

The media leaks, particularly those by US officials, are aimed at undercutting Pakistani disclaimers and reinforcing American demands that Islamabad take action against elements of the military and the ISI who in the past have backed various Islamist militias

In pressuring Pakistan to bow to Indian demands,
The unstable Pakistani government is widely regarded as a puppet of Washington
accusations against the ISI will only compound the tense relationship between the Pakistani government and the military.

concessions by Pakistan
may well be used by opposition politicians to whip up nationalist sentiment.

There is growing outrage that the US and India are exploiting the Mumbai attacks for their own political purposes.

anger over deteriorating living standards as the Pakistani government implements IMF austerity measures as part of an economic bailout package.

the Indian government to take a more belligerent stand against Pakistan.
a growing clamour in the Indian media and from opposition Hindu supremacist parties for tough action

a list of Indian demands, including for Islamabad to arrest and hand over 20 terrorist suspects, most of whom have not even been mentioned in connection with the Mumbai attacks.

President Zardari
New Delhi has provided no evidence against the twenty men
He also insisted that anyone involved in the Mumbai attacks would be dealt with in Pakistani courts

There are growing demands for military action against "terrorist training camps" in Pakistan.

Right-wing Hindu extremist groups are whipping up communal tensions inside India. The fascistic Shiv Sena based in Mumbai has called in its newspaper for the dismantling of "mini-Pakistans" inside India, before teaching "Pakistan a lesson by launching an attack on it". The reference to mini-Pakistanis is a provocative incitement to pogroms against India's large Muslim minority.

the ruling Congress Party, which faces national elections next year, has repeatedly bowed to pressure from the Hindu right in the past.

Completely incapable of addressing the elementary social needs and democratic aspirations of working people, they are again stirring up communal divisions as a means of shoring up their political bases.

The intrusion of the US into this explosive political mixture in pursuit of its own strategic interests—in the first place to consolidate its occupation of Afghanistan—only heightens the danger of war.

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