Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Few More Thoughts on Terror in Mumbai

CNN, FOX News and MSNBC are carrying live feeds from Mumbai from various local news channels. They did not do this during the 2006 August / Sep Attacks that killed 200. They did not do it in the Delhi Blasts. Not during the Hyd Blasts. But they're covering this non-stop today. Why this sudden interest? Clearly, the answer must be in who is being targeted. With business interests and American citizens being targeted, the issue clearly demands more coverage in the US media.

All that is understandable, but calling this India's 9/11 (as analysts on various networks have repeatedly asserted) is incorrect. India has been grappling with terrorists for the best of 10 years right now - and is probably one of the most terror-incident prone places on the planet. This is certainly not India's 9/11. India has had more deadly terror attacks in the recent past. If any thing, this could be considered one of India's vast array of mini-9/11s.

Clearly, the perpetrators have roots in Pakistan or at least have been backed by the Pakistani ISI - an educated guess most people are making on TV. The "Deccan Mujahideen" is probably just a front for this. But I sincerely hope this does not derail talks between the Indian and the Pakistani governments. Pakistani democracy is probably one of the only hopes for stability in the region. The Pakistani government is too impotent and powerless to deal with these creeps - and is more in need for help than blame. The leigitimate Pakistani governemnt needs to be strengthened.

Perhaps the strongest response to this horrible issue would be a joint statement issued by Pakistani Prime Minister Zardari (or the Prime Minister, Gillani) and their Indian counterpart, MMS, affirming friendship in this time of terror. It is important not to fall into the animosity trap. Pakistanis are just like Indians - just as terror prone, just as scared. The terrorists want confrontation with India. Bellicose rhetoric would stifle encouraging signs shown by Zardari recently - a victory for the terrorists.

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