Mumbai attacks – why is India attacking Pakistan?
Issued on: Modified:
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. But shouldn't the Delhi government be facing up to its own responsibilities before criticising its neighbour? Our Observers in both countries tell us what they think.
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. But shouldn't the Delhi government be facing up to its own responsibilities before criticising its neighbour?
Tension is running so high that American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to Delhi to act as a mediator between the two countries. India has said that it's not planning to take military action against Pakistan. However, it's accused a group of Pakistani terrorists, Lashkar-e-Taiban (the Persian Army), of having trained the attackers, and is yet to rule out links with the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI), which has been for a long time accused of maintaining some links with fundamentalist movements.
"It's not about uniting against Pakistan – that would be politicising the issue"
Joy Banerji is an electrical engineer from Mumbai.
Everyone around me is so tired of politics; we prefer to spend the day lighting candles and having minutes of silence. It's not about uniting against Pakistan - that would be politicising the issue. We're against the terrorists but we don't know where they come from yet. If they are from Pakistan, we still don't know where they're funded from. The Indian people have matured; they wouldn't just react like that, because we know blaming Pakistan won't help anything. Every terrorist attack in this country is blamed on Pakistan - and they have every right to be upset about it - they're always in the line of fire. No doubt there will be negative sentiments later on, but for now, it's better not to pinpoint anyone."
"They're being warmongers because the government's weak "
Zaheer Alam Kidvai, one of our Observers in Pakistan, is a professor from Karachi (south Pakistan).
I've always been considered by my friends as pro-Indian. After all, I was born in India [Zaheer is 68, so he was born before Pakistan was established] and I've got a lot of friends there. However, I'm really not happy with the reaction from the Indian authorities to this terrorist attack.
It's possibly because the terrorists were Pakistani. I'm pretty sure that the government had nothing to do with it, because it's not in their interest while the country is so unstable, but it might be possible that isolated members of our intelligence services were involved in the attack. We really don't know. But what we do know, is that the Indian government, which is very weak at the moment, is using this crisis for their own internal political ends. They're being warmongers because the government's weak; because they're in an electoral period and they need a scapegoat to make people forget about their inefficiencies. This was a terrible tragedy. But I can't help but notice that the Indian authorities managed it very poorly. It took them four days to regain order!
I'm also appalled by the coverage the Indian media's given this incident. I watch a lot of Indian TV, and they're inciting hate for Pakistan no end. It's very dangerous, especially as the Hindu fundamentalists will most certainly turn against the Muslim minority in the country.
The real problems are terrorism and fundamentalist movements, both Muslim and Hindu. And they're worldwide, not Indian-Pakistani. However, the Indian government and the Indian media have put our two countries on the brink of war. I can be very critical of my own government, but it this case, it's the Indians who are to blame if conflict breaks out."
"Of course I blame Pakistan"
Soumik Kar is a photographer from Mumbai who documented events after the attack.
People on the street are very angry with Pakistan. It's not about Muslim terror anymore - it's about Pakistan. Pakistan is a breeding ground for terrorists and the only reason the US is friends with them is to have a stronghold in Afghanistan. It's high time the US understood that Pakistan's weapons are partly controlled by Jihadists: India is vulnerable of being destroyed within seconds. Of course I blame Pakistan - all nine of the terrorists were from there and trained there. There's no other country to blame."