The Great Debate (India)

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India turns up the heat on Pakistan, where will this end?

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The language is deliberate, the signals unmistakable: India is turning up the heat on Pakistan for the Mumbai attacks that have  killed at least 195 people, and there is no knowing where this downward spiral in ties between the uneasy neighbours will end.

Beginning with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's warning that a cost will have to be paid by neighbouring nations that allow militants to operate,  to Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee's direct call to Islamabad to "dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism", there is a sharp, cold edge to the tone that you can't miss even factoring in the immediate anger and sense of outrage the attacks have evoked  across India.

Then the signs: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in India on a previously scheduled visit to review the peace process packing his bags and heading home because Indian political leaders cancelled meetings with him following the attacks.

We have been here before, for sure. A 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, for which like the Mumbai attacks, the  Lashkar-i-Taiba was blamed, triggered a set of measures by New Delhi including breaking sporting and cultural links, downgrading diplomatic relations, and the deployment of the military in full combat readiness all along the Pakistan border.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Can India-Pakistan ties withstand Mumbai bombings?

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed a group with "external linkages" for coordinated attacks which killed more than 100 people in Mumbai. The language was reminiscent of the darker days of India-Pakistan relations when India always saw a Pakistan hand in militant attacks, blaming groups it said were set up by Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, to seek revenge for Pakistan's defeat by India in the 1971 war.

An attack on India's parliament in December 2001 triggered a mass mobilisation along the two countries' borders and brought them close to a fourth war.  That attack was blamed by India on the Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed - hardline Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda.  Both have been associated with the kind of "fedayeen" attacks -- in which the attackers, while not necessarily suicide bombers, are willing to fight to the death -- seen in Mumbai.

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