August 27, 2003
'INDIA'S NEW YORK' FALLS PREY TO TERRORISM
** Most Pakistani and
pro-engagement Indian dailies placed the attack in the context of Indian
communal extremism, while Indian hardliners blamed Pakistan for the
** Other writers saw an
effort to sabotage "the recent thaw in Indo-Pakistani relations."
** The attack confirmed the
"spread of the danger of terrorism" throughout the world.
'Islamist terrorism' in Mumbai echoes India's domestic sectarian
problems-- A major factor in the
Mumbai explosions was a "tragic cycle of communal terror and
centrist Telegraph claimed that "externally sponsored"
violence succeeds "because of...religious fundamentalism" in
India. India's centrist Dainik
Agradoot urged New Delhi to "rally the minority community," as
Pakistani dailies agreed that "nations need to first resolve the
contradictions within their own countries" before blaming others. London's conservative Daily Telegraph
warned, "Playing the communal card for electoral gain will reap a
whirlwind within, rather than across the Pakistani border."
'The culprit is a terrorist outfit controlled from
Pakistan'-- A significant minority
of Indian dailies termed the attack part of "Islamabad's strategy to annex
Kashmir and balkanise India."
Chennai's leftist News Today accused Pakistani "agencies of
subversion" of creating a "common pan-India infrastructure for
Khalistan and Kashmir terrorists."
Independent Ananda Bazar Patrika was "quite confident"
Islamabad's "ISI...pulled the string from behind" the Mumbai
terrorists. Nationalist dailies alleged
that "elements in Pakistan who are unhappy with the recent thaw in
Indo-Pakistani relations" encouraged the attack.
The 'atrocity' will make New Delhi point 'an accusing finger' at
Pakistan-- There was concern the
attack could "disperse the hopes of reconciliation between India and
Pakistan." Austria's liberal Der
Standard said the attack threatened the current "relatively quiet
period" on the "rollercoaster of Indian-Pakistani
relations." Hong Kong's leftist Asia
Times prioritized preventing "a much grander Indo-Pakistani
conflagration," which is "the war that the terrorists
want." Pakistan's center-left Dawn
stood out by stressing improved bilateral relations as the "only way to
clip the wings of militants on both sides who thrive on hostility."
'The hydra-headed serpent of terror can strike with equal venom
anywhere'-- Indian writers contended
that the Mumbai attack was "intricately linked with the...global network
of terrorism," adding that officials must "transcend their petty
vested interests" to improve currently "inadequate" domestic
security. France's right-of-center Le
Figaro cited the attack as proof al-Qaida can use "local Islamic
groups...in broader strategic operations."
Pakistani and British writers argued that India and Pakistan share a
"common strategic interest" in preventing terror.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 37 reports from 13
countries over 26 - 27 August 2003.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent
Kolkata's centrist Telegraph declared (8/27): "Even if it is difficult to pinpoint a
motive for the blasts, an overall context for their occurrence can be
outlined. This is related to the almost
exponential increase in religious fundamentalism and religious violence all
over India. A major chunk of this
violence, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, is externally sponsored but the
external agencies succeed because of the presence of religious fundamentalism
within the country. There is no point
getting into a dispute about who cast the first stone. The problem of violence in Indian society has
become far more dangerous than that kind of blame mongering. There are no known means of uprooting
fundamentalism but the violence that accompanies it can be eradicated through
counter terror based on better intelligence gathering. The victims of terrorism are always innocent
people. It is the duty of the state to
protect the citizens and their property.
No political considerations should stand in the way of carrying out this
primary duty of the state."
Guwahati's Assamese-language centrist Dainik Agradoot held
(8/27): "The aim of the
perpetrators of violence is to strike a blow on the country's economic progress
by creating a terror-like situation in India's commercial capital. Throwing Mumbai out of gear is no less than
bringing the commercial and business activities of the entire country to a
grinding halt and those involved in this barbaric crime have successfully
accomplished the task.... Prompt
reaction from Pakistan has raised many eyebrows.... For, it can't be said for sure that Pakistan
is not trying to save its own skin....
Without active public support the government could never crush these
fundamental and terrorist elements. Therefore, the government should endeavor
to rally the minority community behind its fight to weed out religious
"Mumbai, A City Of Blasts"
Centrist Siliguri-based Bengali-language Uttar Banga Sambad
stated (8/27): "No matter with
which motive terrorists have committed these subversive acts it is fully
condemnable. No objective can be achieved by causing bloodshed and genocide.
Better, terrorists should realize this truth, or the state will have to do its
obligations without any encumbrance. While trying to achieve this goal
politicians too will have to transcend their petty vested interests besides
maintaining honesty in administrative execution. Otherwise, the tragedy in
Mumbai will be engulfing other parts of the country as well."
"Gory Mumbai Blasts"
The Guwahati-based English-language left-of-center Sentinel
opined (8/27): "It was clear that
the commercial and industrial hub of India was being made the target. And those behind the diabolic attacks knew
how much this hurt the nation.... But a
clear picture can emerge only after far more detailed investigations are
carried out. And two things that deter
such heinous crimes have not been happening in India. One is the ability of intelligence agencies
to forestall such diabolic designs. The
other is to punish the culprits swiftly enough to deter such heinous
activities. The culprits of the 1992-93
Mumbai serial blasts still roam free."
"In The Orb Of Terrorism"
Independent Kolkata-based Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika
editorialized (8/27): "The foremost
thing needed to curb the matrix of terrorists is to completely defeat their
nefarious plan of unleashing panic. The
first condition of tackling terrorists, who want to pursue their own 'fight' by
killing unarmed innocent people, is not to get afraid. The second condition is to hunt down
terrorists and arrange for their maximum punishment.... Clearly, this incident of explosion should
not be construed as a stray villainy. A
stream of this kind of terrorism has been flowing in India for a long time and
gradually gaining momentum.... This
terror act is deeply as well as intricately linked with national and global
network of terrorism.... There is no
reason to think that Islamabad has already shed its urge...to sustain an
atmosphere of terrorism not merely in Kashmir but also in other regions in
"Ghastly Beyond Words"
Chennai's leftist English-language News Today editorialized
(8/26): "Islamic terrorism in
Mumbai has a history, the peculiarity of which consists in the amorphousness of
its environment and the anonymity which terrorists on prowl in the metropolis
have maintained successfully. That has
enabled the ISI of Pakistan to implement its Operation K2 for creating a common
pan-India infrastructure for Khalistan and Kashmir terrorists.... Pakistan has condemned the attacks on
civilians but has added that India was in the habit of engineering such
incidents and blaming it on others. It
does not care about the stupidity of its comment. No nation would kill its citizens under any
provocation. Islamabad obviously is not
able to draw the line between fact and fiction.
Instead, it revels in motivated fiction to accuse India of crimes which
were engineered by Pak agencies of subversion.
Terrorists continue to be in a position in which they are able to call
the shots anywhere and at anytime and in any manner they choose.... People have not panicked so far but they
could if terrorists are allowed to make mince meat of public peace."
The centrist Times of India stated (8/26): "It was a horrifying reprise of 1993.
Now, as then, the murderous bomb blasts which rocked Mumbai on Monday seemed to
be well-planned and coordinated to inflict maximum damage on the city’s symbols
of civic pride and financial power. Is it merely coincidental that the attacks
have taken place at a time when the Indian stockmarkets had entered a bullish
phase for the first time in two-and-a-half years?.... What the latest episode seems to suggest...is
that the ongoing global war against terrorism knows no fixed boundaries or
battle-fronts; the Hydra-headed serpent of terror can strike with equal venom
anywhere in the world.... The war
against terrorism is not as straightforward an enterprise as many in the US and
elsewhere might like to believe.... It
is a debatable point whether the campaign in Afghanistan precipitately followed
by the operation in Iraq have been part of the solution, or a compounding of
the problem. The bitter truth is there are no simple and safe antidotes to
terror, nor any fail-safe preventives....
Political crisis management and damage control after such an outrage is
as essential as the exercise of vigilance to deter terrorist action. This is
perhaps the most important--and the most difficult--lesson to learn in the midst
of this undeclared war that we are engaged in.”
“Behind The Terrorist Strikes"
The centrist Hindu declared (8/26): "Two terrorist bomb strikes in the heart
of Mumbai on Monday have taken a terrible human toll and sent a shiver through
the country.... Nine bombings in as many
months, almost a 100 people dead, and some 200 injured: Mumbai is in the midst
of what is...the longest-running terror offensive any major Indian city has
ever encountered.... No organization has
claimed responsibility for Monday's carnage, and it is unlikely...that any will
do so.... Mumbai has suffered the
consequences of communal politics before. The serial bombings of the 1993, the
worst single terrorist outrage India has witnessed to date, were carried out by
mafia elements backed by Pakistan's intelligence services. Yet members of the
mafia acted as they did only after the city had witnessed an unprecedented
communal pogrom. While millions of ordinary Muslims completely reject and
condemn such `retaliatory' terrorism, the fact remains that hatred breeds
hatred. Islamist terrorism of the kind Mumbai is witnessing is part of a tragic
cycle of communal terror and counter-terror. Neither legions of policemen nor
the latest intelligence technology can solve this problem. For the carnage we
are now witnessing, politicians who have built their career on hate must...be
held to account.”
The Day Also Belongs To The Enemy!"
Mumbai-based Marathi-language widely-read Lokasatta
opined (8/26): "Like Beirut, Tel
Aviv, and Bali, Mumbai has also become a target for international
terrorists.... Considering the present
situation in the country, in the Indian subcontinent, and in the world in
general, it can be said that Mumbai has also been caught in the globalization
of terrorism. We can only speculate
whether it is a mere coincidence that these blasts took place when Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is visiting the country.... The politics of destruction unleashed by the
U.S. all over the world is also a reason for the growing terrorism. National boundaries cannot stop
terrorism. The United States has
experienced it now. Israel is
experiencing it everyday and still, it has persisted in its offensive
politics. The Taliban groups, to whom
Pakistan handed over power in Afghanistan with the help of the Inter Service
Intelligence [ISI] and with the US blessings, have now turned against
Musharraf. Therefore, like Mumbai,
Karachi is also in the grip of Pakistani terrorists.... Like the possibility being talked about that
the terrorists active in Mumbai are being helped by the ISI, there is a
similarly strong possibility that they are being helped by the international
"arms and drug" cartel.... It
would not suffice to consider the only reason of the prevailing tension between
Hindus and Muslims for these blasts....
Delhi is the political capital of the country and Mumbai is its economic
capital. Mumbai has the economic veins
of the country. The terrorists know that
if India is to be destroyed from within, they have to disrupt this city's life
and economy.... This is a long-lasting
war.... This war against terrorism is
beyond the parties and even countries.
The bomb blasts in Mumbai have, once again, underlined this fact."
“Unmask The Attacker"
The centrist Indian Express held (8/26): "It's like rewinding to March 12, 1993,
when calibrated bomb blasts changed Mumbai forever.... By making unsuspecting citizens hostage to
their agenda of terror, the attackers have shown themselves to be nothing but
brutes--beyond human reason or compassion....
This...is an attack not just on individuals, or a city, or a state, but
on the nation. The time has come to squarely confront the terror in our
midst.... Tntelligence gathering at a
national level is proving inadequate to the monumental task at hand.... The situation is tense and worrisome. Both
Mumbai and India must rise up to the challenge.”
“The Calm Explodes"
The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (8/26): "The blasts in Mumbai are a grim warning
that terrorists are still reasonably well entrenched and that the recent
relatively calm period was deceptive....
There can be little doubt that the terrorists are encouraged by
Pakistan's attitude.... The mercenaries
are obviously under some pressure to perform. They may well be responding to
elements in Pakistan who are unhappy with the recent thaw in Indo-Pakistani
relations. In India, with the election season approaching, all political
parties should be careful that no one is able to make cynical use of the
"Blasts Again In Mumbai"
Pro-BJP Calcutta-based Bengali-language Bartaman observed
(8/26): "Intelligence agencies need
to be more alert and efficient in order to prevent such disruptive acts. The
mechanism of getting advance tip off and adopting preemptive measures must be
far more strengthened. Otherwise, such abominable incidents will continue to
happen.... Monday's incident has clearly
proved that Indian Intelligence failed to take any lesson from the nightmarish
bloodbath a decade ago."
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer
contended (8/26): "The serial
blasts that shook Mumbai on Monday were the first of their kind since the 13 on
March 12, 1993, which left 257 persons dead and over 700 maimed.... While no terrorist outfit has so far claimed
responsibility, the blasts bear the patent imprint of terrorist strikes. Nor
would it take genius to recognize that the culprit is a terrorist outfit
controlled from Pakistan acting in close cooperation with organizations like
the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The Ghatkopar blast of July 28 has been
attributed to Pasban-e-Hadeez, one of the fragmented reincarnations of the
Lashkar-e-Toiba.... The explosions that
have rocked Mumbai since 1993 cannot be viewed in isolation from those that
have occurred in different parts of the country ever since Pakistan launched
its proxy war against India, through cross-border terrorism, over two decades
ago. Like the others, these have been aimed at implementing Islamabad's
strategy to annex Kashmir and balkanise India.
Since an outrage of the magnitude of Monday's one could not have
occurred without a green signal from those who control Pakistan's proxy war and
Dawood Ibrahim's minions, it puts a huge question mark against Islamabad's
repeated articulation of its desire for peace with India. Clearly, the ruling
dispensation in Pakistan is alarmed as much by the desire of the common people
of its country for peace with India, as the changed mood in Kashmir where the
healing-touch approach of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's Government is beginning to
have an impact.... Monday's blasts
provide another vindication of India's decision not to hold talks with it until
it takes convincing steps to end cross-border terrorism. Meanwhile, the
Maharashtra Government must do better than it has so far in curbing terrorism.”
"Intelligence Confirms ISI Link With Dawood-Simi In Mumbai
Jayanta Ghosal stated in independent Calcutta-based
Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika (8/26): "The federal Home ministry believes that
the Mumbai blast was the joint handiwork of Islamic students' organization like
SIMI, notorious terrorists Lashkar-e-Toiba and underworld don Dawood
Ibrahim.... No matter which group has
done this, federal intelligence is quite confident that ISI have pulled the
string from behind. The chief motive...is to derail the Prime Minister's
initiative of convening a Chief Ministers' convention in Srinagar on Wednesday
in order to project the national integration and security scenario. According to intelligence sources, hordes of
terrorists have recently infiltrated into Mumbai from the Gulf and formed a new
Islamic jihadi outfit. Many activists from several militant
organizations like SIMI have joined this new jihadi group, which is
being suspected of triggering the twin blasts with covert blessings from
LeT.... Musharraf administration would
have been put to the dock by the international community if it had chosen to
get fresh subversive activities done by Kashmiri terrorists organizations. So,
it might have hired Dawood's criminal gang for coordinating the job."
Blasts: Reaction Of Radical Indian Policies"
Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt argued
(8/27): "The blasts have
demonstrated that the law and order situation in India is not different from
the situation in neighboring countries.
The only difference is that India has now become a target of the culture
of terrorism and subversion that it has promoted in the region.... India will be a victim of destabilization, if
it doesn't review its internal and external policies, doesn't give due rights
to Kashmiris and other nations demanding self-determination and continues with
its discriminatory treatment of minorities; the ensuing destabilization will
have negative effects on the entire region."
"Terrorism In Mumbai And The Future Of Indo-Pak Talks"
Lahore's populist Urdu-language Khabrain contended
(8/27): "This is a difficult time
for both India and Pakistan. The Indian
government must hunt for the perpetrators of this act and bring them to
justice. But at the same time, it needs
to control its reaction to this incident or it will increase bilateral tension
and reduce the chances for a dialogue....
How it deals with this situation depends entirely on the Indian government. However, in view of past record, we would
urge the international community to keep an eye on the issue so that the Indian
government doesn't use this unfortunate incident to strengthen its position in
the upcoming polls or to stoke the fire of anti-Muslim riots in India."
The centrist national English-language News remarked
(8/27): "The attacks seem to have
been a well-synchronized effort by those behind it who also choose crowded
tourist spots of the commercial capital of India for good effect. So far no claims have been made but the
Indian authorities suspect that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India
(SIMI) was believed to be acting in conjunction with the banned terrorist
outfit, Lashkar-i-Taiba.... The bomb
blasts, however, call for greater cooperation by all states against terrorism
that has become a growth industry.
Easily available sophisticated explosive material which has a greater
impact potential and timing reliable devices along with basic training and a
'cause'--howsoever absurd it is--are all that is needed by people in the
lunatic fringe to rock the world.... If
the world has to be made safe then all nations need to first resolve the
contradictions within their own countries before they look for enemies from
"Car Bombs In Mumbai"
The Lahore's liberal English-language Daily Times observed
(8/27): "Let not the pot start
calling the kettle black. Both India and
Pakistan are threatened by the same internal forces of disorder. And in both cases religion is involved, with
links established with the underworld of international terrorism. We blamed
India for the Quetta killings. Will
India now blame Pakistan for the Mumbai killings? If that happens, it will spring from a
conditioned reflex of the past. We have
seen much jerking of the knee on both sides.
If it happens again, it will be tragic."
"Senseless And Disturbing"
Karachi's center-left independent English-language Dawn
editorialized (8/27): "In view of
the allegations being made, one great worry is what effect all this might have
on the peace process underway between India and Pakistan. It would be tragic in the extreme if
jingoistic elements across the border were permitted to capitalize on the
tragedy to put pressure on PM Vajpayee to hold back on taking the process
forward. Even if it turns out that SIMI
is involved, that should only strengthen the resolve to pursue Indo-Pakistan
peace with greater vigor. That is the
only way to clip the wings of militants on both sides who thrive on hostility
between the two countries and who need to be isolated and exposed. Meanwhile, the Indian government will be
expected to move decisively to prevent any possible communal backlash to
Monday's traumatic happenings."
"Pakistan Deplores Mumbai Attack"
The centrist national English-language News
remarked (8/26): "Pakistan has
deplored the terrorist attacks in Mumbai which occurred on Monday [25 August],
claiming over 40 lives with nearly a hundred injured.... Pakistan condemns all acts of terrorism and
these wanton attacks on civilians should be condemned in the strongest
terms.... Islamabad had drawn the
attention of the world community to the fact that dialogue had still not
resumed between India and Pakistan which did not augur well for the fact that
peace and security was fragile in the region.... We have asked the UN Security Council to
persuade India to stop oppression in held Kashmir and to create an environment
in which such talks can take place."
BRITAIN: “Prisoners Of War”
The left-of-center Guardian stated
(8/27): "Even for a region
pockmarked by blasts and shootings, the scale of the bombing of Bombay raises
concerns about the stability of south Asia....
In targeting India's bustling commercial capital, the bombers struck at
the heart of a nation’s economic renaissance.
Those who planted the bombs were unperturbed that death would be spread
among Bombay’s Hindu majority and its sizeable Muslim minority.... India’s politicians have not emphatically
pointed the finger of blame at Pakistan, but their words will have left few in
doubt as to whom they hold responsible for the carnage. There is no question that Pakistan is used as
a base by bombers to launch attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir. In Pakistan, some have bent Islam to
propogate hate.... Similiarly in India,
Hinduism is being polluted by extremists....
Damaging too is that the country’s 140m Muslims have not been lifted by
India’s rising economic tide. None of
this justifies the murder and mayhem.
What both sides need to display is restraint.... But the reapprochment will get nowhere if
both sides do not break free from the prison of the past. Both Pakistan and India will have to move from
trading insults and shells across disputed borders and become serious about
treading the road to peace.... Leaders
in both nations must stop envenoming tongues and minds and offer a way,
instead, to replace antipathy with amity."
“Bombs In Bombay”
The conservative Daily Telegraph
commented (8/27): "Post-September
11, it is easy for a politician to court favour with his constituents by
evoking the spectre of Islamic radicalism.
That is, predictably, what L K Advani, India’s deputy prime minister,
did yesterday in Bombay.... The
Pakistani government’s protestations of innocence over terrorism in India do
not always ring true. But it is
difficult to see what advantage it would reap from backing attacks against its
neighbour at a time when the two countries are trying to improve
relations. Mr. Advani might, instead,
reflect on the siege mentality that the aggressive Hindu nationalism of his
party had instilled in Muslim Indians....
Sadly, it is likely that any such reflection will be stifled by crude
political calculation.... The truth is
that the party has not much to show from leading coalition governments at
federal level over the past five years....
In the absence of achievement in job creation or improved security, the
Muslim threat makes a convenient whipping-boy.... But playing the communal card for electoral
gain will reap a whirlwind within, rather than across the Pakistani
border. India remains a secular state
with a Muslim population of around 120 million.
To push it towards becoming a Hindu republic in which they will have no
place is to risk immeasurably greather chaos than that inflicted by the bombers
"India Is On The Front Line Of The War On
Jeevan Deol contended in the center-right Independent
(8/7): "The terrorist bombings in
Bombay are a jarring reminder to the West of its failure to comprehend
political tensions and strategic realities in South Asia.... South Asia is yet another front in the War on
Terror, even if US and British foreign policy does not recognise it as such. An
al-Qa'ida statement issued last November lists among its
"invitations" to the American people a call to cease their support
for Israel, Russia, the Philippines and India. And senior Indian officials view
the country as having been in the front line of the fight against Islamist
terrorism.... The insurgency in Kashmir
is as much a part of the global jihad as the conflicts in Chechnya and
Bosnia.... The past three years have
seen a marked shift in emphasis. Terrorists have sought high-profile targets to
match their more global aspirations, with a number of attacks on national
icons.... The Bombay bombings seem to be
yet another link in this chain of terrorist attacks.... The terrorists behind the bombing were
undoubtedly seeking to incite India's 120 million Muslims, one of the largest
Muslim populations in the world, against the Hindu majority. Their task is
difficult in a country where Muslims are bound by other strong ties of place
and ethnicity. But if the terrorists succeed even in small measure, the price
will be a terrible one. The tactic is one that al-Qa'ida has used with success
elsewhere.... The problem of a new
terrorist threat linked to al-Qa'ida is not India's alone. Pakistan too has
seen a similar radical change in the tactics of terrorist violence.... In an ideal world, India and Pakistan would
feel a sense of sharing a common strategic interest in preventing a
destabilisation of the region by al-Qa'ida. Given the other major issues of
disagreement between the two countries, this is unlikely.... India and Pakistan need to make hard choices
about their relationship. If they and the West ignore the changing direction of
terrorism in South Asia, a key battle in the fight against al-Qa'ida could be
FRANCE: “South Asia: The People Against al-Qaida”
Alexandre Adler wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(8/27): “In spite of a tendency to deny
reality, al-Qaida does exist.... Its
leaders are capable of extraordinary strategic obstinacy as well as stoicism in
their designs. The attacks in Bombay
prove it.... For the past five years
Pakistan has been providing al-Qaida with all that it needed.... With Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s blessings
Ben Laden and his allies have inherited local Islamic groups which they have
used in broader strategic operations....
Pakistani society, with General Musharraf, has managed to oppose
al-Qaida’s ambition to take-over in Pakistan.... Negotiations between Pakistan and India
should be able to bring more stability to Pakistan.... Luckily, the Indian and Pakistani people want
neither suicide nor perpetual war. While the threat from al-Qaida remains, it
would seem that in South Asia there is the know-how to guard against it.”
Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg
judged (8/27): "The Indian reaction
to the most serious bomb attack in ten years was as expected...but the Indian
government takes it too easy by swiftly pointing to others being responsible
for the attack. It must also be blamed
for the fact that the relationship between Muslims and Hindus is very
tense. The Hindu nationalists around the
hawk Advani made their contribution over the past few years to poison the mood. The Muslims in Bombay are now afraid of the
revenge of an angry Hindu mob. This is
not surprising following the events from last year when an attack by Hindu
pilgrims caused the death of 2,000 Muslims in the province of Gujarat. But instead of dealing with the background of
the case, the government is pushing for plans to build a temple in Ayodhya, a
site which Muslims consider sacred. The
Muslim reaction is to turn increasingly to radical groups in Islamic
Pakistan. If the Indian government wants
to prevent this, it must convey the feeling to the 140 million Muslims in the
country that it takes care of their safety."
ITALY: “Massacre in Bombay,
India Accuses Pakistan”
Gabriel Bertinetto asserted in pro-democratic left party-run L’Unitá
(8/27): “India points its finger at
Pakistan: it is not attributing Monday’s attacks in Bombay point blank on
Pakistan, but it is accusing it of having given way for decades to ‘a terrorist
war...throughout the entire country'....
Today Pakistan is a fragile country.
By casting away the Taliban and siding with the U.S. in the war on
Afghanistan, President Musharraf avoided being involved in the U.S. military’s
reaction against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.... But since then his fate is hanging by a
thread.... Despite accusations by Indian
authorities, he has been holding talks with New Delhi. But his power is challenged daily by internal
enemies. Rather than generically
attacking Pakistan and claiming their co-responsibility in the attacks, the
Indian government should perhaps support Musharraf in his fight against those
within his country and within the security forces who are obstructing his
attempt to develop good relations with the U.S., Afghanistan and India itself.”
“Precision Bombs Against Indian And Pakistani Efforts”
An editorial in elite, classical-liberal Il Foglio read
(8/26): “The Bombay explosions chose a
symbolic target: the Gateway of India, the symbol of colonial power and major
tourist attraction with many big hotels, including the Taj Mahal. There’s a
resemblance to the terrorist attacks in Bali.... The guerrilla in Iraq, terrorism in Israel,
the attacks in Indonesia and India all have one specific goal: to obstruct any
peaceful solution that would pave the way to a normal life and therefore to
economic development, considered a major threat for political-religious groups
that still hold important positions of command. For these groups, it is
important to hinder the return to normalcy in Iraq and hence to impede that a
sufficiently democratic system and economic system with an opening on the rest
of the world be established. And they adopt the same method to paralyze, in two
ways, the action of governments that intend to travel the road of development,
such as India and Indonesia.... In the
case of India, the most fertile [method] regards accusations towards the grass
roots terrorism in Pakistan with obvious repercussions on relations between the
two countries, which are in this manner distracted from giving support to the
fight against international terrorism.”
“Terrorism Which Strikes Blindly”
Fernando Mezzetti noted in conservative, top-circulation syndicate
Il Resto del Carlino/La Nazione/Il Giorno (8/26): “Terrorism against everything and everyone.
This is [the definition of] the massacre in Bombay. Investigators believe the
attack was the work of one group--the Students Islamic Movement of India--that
acted out in concomitance with nationalistic demonstrations, by striking areas
inhabited by the people of Gujarat, among whom were many Muslims: it’s a pity
for them since in the metropolis they peacefully live along side the hindus.
Moreover, India’s National Party has grown much closer to the U.S. since
“A New War Front”
Ugo Tramballi commented in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24
Ore (8/26): “It was obvious that
sooner or later even India would end up on the map of this strange Islamic
international [group] of terror that is striking everywhere: the subcontinent
possesses all the fundamental characteristics to be part of it.... Even prior to September 11 India had been
hit. But it was a different kind of terrorism, often it was by the hand of
Pakistan.... Yesterday’s attacks are
something new: Pakistan has nothing to do with them and the attempt to involve
General Musharraf’s government and to return to the traditional hatred between
two enemies armed with the atomic bomb is rather evident.... A new front in this world war has opened up
at a moment in which things don’t seem to be working.... US, Europe, Russia, India NATO, UN: there is
no division of duties, everyone acts based on their own presumptions,
hostilities, and scores to settle--just as if every terror attack were its own
separate entity and not a part of a strategy that is always less improvised.”
AUSTRIA: “Bombay Is A
Markus Bernath wrote in liberal Der Standard (8/26): “The government of Pakistan has promptly
condemned the attacks of Bombay. This is the only consolation for the people of
the 15-million city, who have had to cope with eight such terror attacks in as
many months. Even if it is still unclear to which extremist camp--probably
Muslim--in or outside India the attackers belong, the condolences from
Islamabad seem to at least preclude a much more dangerous development: a third
war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, triggered off by the continuous
attacks of Muslim terrorists.... Not
only since the early days of the armed battle in Kashmir in the late eighties
have Muslims and Hindus been trying to use India’s democracy for their own
ends, or to abuse the weaknesses of a politically open regime. Claims to power
are literally dug up, because reasonable arguments are seriously
lacking.... On the rollercoaster of
Indian-Pakistani relations, the two countries are currently living through a
comparatively quiet period.... However,
the attack of religious fanatics in Bombay could bring this tiny step forward
to a swift end.”
HUNGARY: “Bumpy Peace
Orsolya Ruff maintained in right-wing conservative Magyar
Nemzet (8/27): "The bombings in
Mumbai on Monday disperse the hopes of reconciliation between India and
Pakistan. It is hard to know yet how the
bombings will affect the relationship and the still bumpy peace process between
the two nuclear powers.”
The center-left Irish Times commented (8/27): "The terrorist outrage in Bombay...was a
calculated attempt...to bring India's financial capital, and hence the country
itself, to its knees.... Early indications
suggest that while those behind Monday's atrocity may have been inspired by the
example set by terrorists in Bali, New York and elsewhere, the real motivation
for their action lies closer to home....
India's ruling BJP party bears much responsibility for the heightened
communal tensions that have accompanied its five years in power at federal
level. India is a heady mix of ethnic
groups, as evidenced by the violence that attended independence in 1948. Tensions then could not be overcome to
persuade Pakistan to remain within a single federal state. The underlying cause of the division was
religious.... The BJP has consistently
postured and threatened the Muslim minority, grandstanding and hectoring them,
more than willing to turn Gandhi's inclusive dream into a cold house. Specifically, the BJP has campaigned for
Hindu hegemony in Gujarat, a state it has ruled for just under a year.... Indian politicians openly linked Pakistan
with the atrocity yesterday, despite denials and condemnation from Islamabad.
The rest of the world watches the posturing of these two nuclear powers.”
"Bombs Blamed On Hindu-Muslim
Rahul Bedi maintained in the center-left Irish
Times (8/26): "The cause of the
Bombay attacks may be domestic Indian extremism. The continuing spiral of
violence...has its roots in communal tensions that have escalated after the
Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal coalition assumed power
five years ago. Security agencies have long feared such an attack following
last year's three-month pogrom in neighbouring Gujarat state.... Senior counterterrorism officials,
politicians and analysts can, for the moment, offer no credible clues about its
perpetrators. All they can deduce is that the attacks might just be retaliatory
attacks for Gujarat's massacres.”
Jeddah's English-language pro-government Arab
News observed (8/26): "This
attack hits India hard; it is as devastating as the attack on Parliament last
December, perhaps more so. Bombay is India's New York. If the past is anything
to go by, people in Bombay are likely to respond, in anger and--more than
likely--with violence. And regardless of who was behind the atrocities, the
city's Muslims will pay the price....
Many Indians, though, will jump to conclusions and believe that this was
the work of Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamic militant group, said to be
responsible for the Parliament attack and blamed for the Bombay bus bomb in
July which left three people dead. The fact that a Hindu temple was attacked
will add to that conviction. So too will
the belief that the attacks were timed to coincide with the release yesterday
of an archaeological report on the controversial Ayodhya mosque site.... Whoever was behind this attack wants Hindu to
kill Muslim, Muslim to kill Hindu. They may well succeed. At another level, the
blasts could raise the tensions in the subcontinent. The atrocity is bound to
result in Delhi pointing an accusing finger at Islamabad, undoing the efforts
of both governments to draw back from earlier potential nuclear confrontation. The
consequences do not bear thinking about."
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "Mumbai: Terror's Frankenstein On The
The leftist Internet-only Asia Times
commented (8/26): "The bombers in
Mumbai, like their opposite numbers throughout the Muslim world, knew exactly
what they were doing when they set off two bombs in India's commercial capital
on Monday. Their target was the fragile Indo-Pakistani minuet that has begun to
show signs of actually improving relations between those two states. If progress in those relations were actually
to occur, it could only take place at the expense of the terrorist formations
operating in Pakistan, Kashmir, and probably underground in India.... It is also clear that people possessing so
twisted a militant orientation, including belief in the merit of blowing
oneself up...are ultimately a wild card who almost inevitably escape the bonds
of control that the state which supports them tries to fasten on them.... The terrorist groups that organized this
latest bombing in Mumbai are thus Pakistan's Frankenstein for they almost
certainly issued forth, at some stage, from one or another of the groups
sponsored and supported--either directly or indirectly--by Pakistan and its
intelligence organs, such as the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).... Terrorists can now act increasingly
autonomously to trigger a much grander Indo-Pakistani conflagration.... India and Pakistan must not give the terrorists
the war that they want.... The situation
now makes clear that Pakistan, for its own safety, and not because India now
demands it, must conclusively renounce terrorism as an instrument of its
foreign and defense policies....
Pakistan, despite its being a nuclear power with a respectable conventional
army, is in danger of degenerating into ungovernability.... The crisis the terrorists and their
supporters hope to provoke aims to bring about precisely the kind of outcome
the world most fears, a general Indo-Pakistani war and/or general crisis in
Pakistan.... Even if, or especially if,
Pakistan loses, the 'traitorous' Musharraf government will fall and a regime
more supportive of their objectives and of the Taliban...will arise in
Pakistan.... Pakistan thus now reaps the
results of its own support for terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan,
Kashmir, and at home. These groups and their protectors have made clear their
determination to control the policies of the government in Islamabad, even if
it means domestic terror inside Pakistan."
"Danger Of Terrorism"
Leading independent Kompas noted (8/27): "The bombing action in Mumbai, India did
not only shock the country but also upset the world community. The attack added to the signs of the spread
of the danger of terrorism.... There
have been reports that bomb threats, including suicide bombing, have haunted
many countries including the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan,
Indonesia and many more.... Before the
psychological shock and the nightmare of the bombing in Iraq were over, the
global community was again shocked by the two bombings in Mumbay. The world community is made anxious by the
many terrorist attacks.”
"Double Bombing In India: 47 Killed"
Leading Clarin said (8/26):
"Bombay, the economic and financial capital of India, from where
you dominate the Oman Sea, became yesterday the open site of horror, when two
blasts ripped a historic and very crowded tourist location and a famous market
close by, killing 47 and wounding 150....
Until last night, nobody had claimed the attack, but Indian police
suspect India's Islamic Movement of Students, a group banned by the government,
with close ties with neighbor Pakistan--a country that went to war against
India on three occasions and with which it fights for nuclear predominance in
the region. Due to the type of target
that was selected, the double goal of the attack was, apparently, to cast a
serious blow on the tourist activity, according to local authorities."