Can India-Pakistan ties withstand Mumbai bombings?

November 27, 2008











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.

So does the assault on Mumbai spell the death-knell for what had been gradually warming ties between Pakistan and India?

Pakistan has condemned the attack, just as it did when gunmen attacked the Indian parliament in 2001. And the Pakistani context today is quite different from that of 2001. Then a military ruler, former president Pervez Musharraf was in power, whereas Pakistan is now run by a new civilian president, Asif Ali Zardari, who has made clear he wants peace with India over Kashmir.

But Singh’s comments, made in a televised address to the nation, were remarkably strong for the usually mild-mannered prime minister:

“It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country,” he said. “We will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts. We are determined to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens.”

The strength of the language may have been fuelled by the scale of the Mumbai attacks, and could refer to either Pakistan or Bangladesh, which has also been accused by India of harbouring militant groups. But it sounded similar in tone to that of Singh’s  predecessor, Atal Behari Vajpayee, who following the 2001 parliament attack warned Pakistan that India’s patience was wearing thin. And they also contrasted with India’s reaction to bombings which killed at least 63 people in the western city of Jaipur earlier this year, when the Indian government notably refrained from pointing a finger at Pakistan.

So was this a deliberate attempt to undermine India-Pakistan relations?  And if so, what will that mean for Pakistan’s fragile civilian democracy? Zardari has staked his reputation on making peace with India to improve trade and help lift Pakistan’s struggling economy.

Much will depend on how Singh, under pressure to show a firm hand ahead of a national election due in India by May 2009, reacts.

(Rueters photo of Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai/Punit Paranjpe)


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There is absolutely no doubt that this LeT opertion had full support of the ISI(Navy component).They have taken advantage of the vast, unguarded coastline of India.Ironically,these so called soldiers of Islam have killed many innocent muslims in Mumbai.India will avenge this act of war.Wait and watch

Posted by A | Report as abusive

Terrorists forsake god country and law to create chaos, to commit this atrocity at the very time India and Pakistan are opening up to each other harms Pakistan as well as India.God willing those responsible will be brought to justice and punished but do not let them succeed in their goal to set India and Pakistan once more on the road to war.

Posted by Glitchlitch | Report as abusive

Stop blaming everything on pakistan and muslims … If you were so smart and looked around then you would have known that my using state terrorism in kashmir will lead to this …. If you kill innocent protesters then what you expect in return … I hope this incident helps you to look beyond …Stop crying … This has happened many times in pakistan …we don’t blame RAW or their Hindu agents for it but fight who ever is responsible for this terrorism .. even if they are same as us … you on other hand blame first then think second …. same thing happened with the train blasts … now a col in Indian army has accepted that those bombs were planted by Indians which killled a lot of pakistanis on Indian soil. If you really want to fight terrorism then give kashmir freedom amd help pakistan in kiiling those al-qaida terrorists…. but if you think by blaming pakistan for every misery in your life you will make your life better then remain in that illusion. I am against all sort of terrorism by state or organization like those which killed innocent people in Mumbai and Kashmir.

Posted by kam | Report as abusive

Innocent people die across the globe because states like pakistan still provide shelter for terrorists.will this ever be really punished?

Posted by david | Report as abusive

Never Trust on Pakistan, though peoples are good but their agencies are very bad.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

I found this blog as another warfield. Indians and Pakistanies blaming each other. I just want to ask one question to all of you particularly kam who talked about Kashmir .Hi kam , suppose after next 10 years , Kashmir become a part of Pakistan and not India , so your side win the final battle. Well tell me what good things you are going to do in Kashmir and its people that Indians are not doing now ?Can you please tell me what is your exact demand at all ?

Posted by SUBIR KUMAR DUTTA | Report as abusive

Its not only blaiming Pak … Its a proven fact that the mumbai attack was planned by a terrorist group, which has a support from our croos-border enemy country … Bonds can only strengthen if they show their support to eradicate those unwanted terrorist from the societ by tacking away all sorts of support and execute them on discovery … Its useless to show a friendly look at one hand and pet terrorism to kill humanity on the other … If Pak really wants to get closer to India, they themselves should take steps to remove terrorism from their country … Otherwise, the country’s fate will not last long, as another replica of Pak will soon be created to tackle the terrorism loving country

Posted by a | Report as abusive

Time for India to stop talking and take action..If pakistan is unable to teach a lesson and take control of its rotten islamic jihadis and continur to act like a breeding ground for terrorists its time for India and rest of the world to act and take control on these disgrace to mankind filt animals and teach pakis a lesson.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

Think rationally this was orchestrated by the army/isi to provoke a massive retalliation from India which would give them libel to take over again.In short any Indian response should be pointed at ISI/Army and not the ordinary long suffering Pakistani even though an enraged Indian electorate is baying for blood in an election year.

Posted by Sameer Verma | Report as abusive

Firstly I would like to send out my condolences to the all the innocent victims of this terrorist act in Mumbai…now to the point, our paradise (kashmir) has been on fire for last 60yrs burnt by indian soldiers paid by the government of India. Yes two wrongs do not make it right but is the result of your government policies in kashmir and elsehwere e.g sri lanka etc. It is easier to point fingers at others I suggest the goverment gets the innocents released first from those buildings than investigate and finaly point fingers.

Posted by Kashmir786 | Report as abusive

Democracy has severely been threatened by militant activities. Today, these militants are not merely the sudden attackers to any vulnerable area. They are very competent and bearing high intelligence and power of innovation in taking decision timely in fulfilling their target. What a great commitment they posess overall? Millitancy today,is much advanced and being carried out through compact and organized networks.They are inter-connected globally and aided by opportunist weapon traders.Sometimes they have been well supported as well as guarded by rival countries. It can not be denied that the potential militants are menace to any democracy.Whenever we have been victimized by the militant activities,our every potential effort that comes out from our administration or military including special protection groups operation seems to be successfulfor that moment, but it is not sufficient to resist them in continuous manner. Our internal administration,police department and intelligence agency would require to be upgraded and more efficient to intercept the millitants’ action with greater accuracy. It is believed firmly that India would be able to overcome the loopwholes and flaws whatsoever remaining within its mechanism for protection of terrorist activities very soon.Terrorist activities have been appeaerd as a common problem to every nation and should be tackled in co-ordinating manner by a compact relationship between every nation in the world and it might be rival or friend counry. Millitants are global enemy.Blaming someone is not wise rather than finding own fault.

Posted by PRANAB HAZRA | Report as abusive

To Kashmir786 – kashmir is not on fire since last 60 years. It started 2 decades ago with the blessing of Pakistan. And, I as a kashmiri pandit whose ancestors lost everything, courtsey of these muslim bigots who talk of independence but with the real motive of destroying every not-muslims, will never even think of independence from india because it is our homeland long before the time when there was anything like Islam existing in this world. This world is just suffering at the hand of these so called muslim parsites. If it is not for the massive presence of Indian troops along the pakistani border, these muslim will kill and expel no-muslim from whole of south asia. So please, all those muslim who feel that they are enslaved in India can gracely buy a ticket to pakistan or where ever they feel safe to go.

Posted by Sushant | Report as abusive

I just want to say that the western media are not talking about the fact that the terrorists are actually Pakistanis and that one of the captured terrorist is from Faridkot,Pakistan.The accent in which they are talking is Punjabi and language is Urdu/Hindi, though they claim to be from Hyderabad, people from Hyderabad have totally different accent. Also, it is weird to accept what they are saying is true because they are obviously people without any moral values.Unless this message comes clearly across to the general public in the west,the western governments, including the US, they will not take strict action against Pakistan and west will also prevent India from taking an aggressive against Pakistan.If the US has rights to go and attack Afghanistan and Iraq without credible information against them, then why is India not allowed to take action against Pakistan.Perhaps, Pakistani officials are not aware that their govt, as they say so that Pakistan is directly involved with so much of terrorism. But then why does the name of Pakistan keep coming up all the time. Obviously Pakistan is a failed state and it has no control over the terrorist activities. The whole point of this attack is to cripple the rapidly growing Indian economy , apart from just inducing fear in the Indians and westerners.Western nations have to realize this and help India fight terror by supporting its security forces.Moreover, the Indian central government has definitely failed in checking terror in the nation. In this year itself there have been so many terror attacks in India and the corrupt politicians only give pathetic speeches. The frequency of attacks is like every two months some where or the other in India. If Indian government does not take some strict actions like implementing POTA etc, I would not be surprised to see another even worst attack in another few months. All in all the Indian government has really failed its citizens.

Posted by Piyush | Report as abusive

Has anyone ever asked yet if this was maybe an “inside” job?

Posted by Terran | Report as abusive

Homegrown terrorism is an alarming and very chilling idea. No country likes to believe that violent and armed insurgency and militancy has taken root in its backyard. Countries tend to put the matters at the back burner for as long as possible. India is ignoring the terrorists of RSS, BJP and Bajrang Dal for too long, and now it’s the time for the them to pay back.The Pakistani Spectator

Posted by Ghazala Khan | Report as abusive

[…] As discussed in an earlier post, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed a group outside India for the attacks which killed at least 121 people. The coordinated attacks bore the hallmarks of Pakistani-based Kashmiri militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India says was set up by Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. […]

Posted by Mumbai attack and Obama’s plans for Afghanistan : Webcastr News | Report as abusive

Mumbai terror attack is another attack on world peace by coward muslim matter where they came from? these bloody terrorists have only one origin Pakistan “the failed muslim terrorist state which has only one industry terrorism”.mashrooming terror factories like mosques and madrasas all over their soil, this muslim state has became a great threat to world peace.this a tough time time for entire world ,all becoz of these anti human muslim terrorists.enough is enough guys.pakistan is Hell on earth.Erase Pakistan from the globe.this is the only solution to regain peace on this planet.India is ready to do it,aome and join hand with us.

Posted by Kumar | Report as abusive

Folks: As an Indian, I think India’s and the world’s collective patience with Pakistan should now come to an end. A failed and retrograde state at our border and in the middle of Asia does not augur well for one of the fastest growing economies of the world and hence for the world in general. It is time to put an end to statelessness in Pakistan militarily. It’s provinces may be spun off into indepedent nations. This will ensure that they are governed better. Yes, this option will increase worldwide risk and may temporarily put the breaks on India’s progress. But, removal of uncertainity will bring long term peace and development.

Posted by Sabari | Report as abusive

By now it is known who are behind Mumbai attacks. Why Pakistan backed up on its declared promise to send ISI Chief to India? Will India continue to play chicken? Millions of people with links with India, no matter which part of the world they live in , are asking for an end to this madness. Will the Indian Government stand up and show its spine? Will you believe your army is brave and capable?

Posted by Ashok | Report as abusive

Just want to assure all readers here that the average Indian doesn’t blame all Pakistanis for the attack. Evidence (satellite phone calls, emails) point to some agencies located in Pakistan. Obviously, all Pakistanis cannot be held responsible for the actions of the few. We do know that Pakistan too suffers from terrorist attacks, like the one against Marriott Hotel.Also, many Pakistanis seem to have the impression that Hindus in India constantly oppress Muslims, especially in Kashmir… well, firstly you should remember than ‘non-Muslim’ in India need not mean ‘Hindu’. If you live in India for a while, you will realise that the word ‘Hindu’ itself is ambiguous, and there is no one definitive version for what constitutes a Hindu. You would also do well to remember that India has had Muslim Presidents (Abdul Kalam, Zakir Hussain)… the present Vice-President, Hamid Ansari, too is Muslim. So although there are fringe groups who preach anti-Muslim hatred, on a broad level there is no discrimination. And do ask yourselves if a ‘free’ Kashmir will be a happier Kashmir, for there will be a three-way tug-of-war between Pakistan, India and China. The recent elections in Kashmir proved that most Kashmiris support the democratic process — there was a 64% turnout, more than in other parts of India!I do not support the strengthening of military forces along the border — that will achieve nothing. People on either side of the border should condemn terror attacks, and should campaign for greater cultural ties.

Posted by Sunny Joseph | Report as abusive

I am amazed by the comments that people are giving like;”pakistan is Hell on earth.Erase Pakistan from the globe.this is the only solution to regain peace on this planet.India is ready to do it,aome and join hand with us.”I can only imagine the hostility of the people of India. I would never even think about travelling to India, even if I am paid on a business trip.I feel very sorry and take pitty of the Indians, who have been killed by the own hands of Indians, yet others here are giving hostile comments. Being an Australian, I would urge all my friends not to visit India as it is unsafe and people are very hostile.

Posted by Dr I Noor, Sydney Australia | Report as abusive

Dr I Noor–Good ridance to Bad rubbish.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

I personally believe that the terrorists attacked to disrupt the healing of the relations. They could’ve been Pakistani soldiers launching their own attacks because if tensions are high, soldiers get paid more. This would also explain their elite planning, exectution, and their acess to British I.D.s

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Dr I Noor, i pity you, if you have heard what the Aussie prime minister said last week..i understand you scum filled muslims have created enough trouble in there also..he plainly asked you to leave austrailia..but now you have already said Inida is a bad place for muslims..dont come or your people are not welcome here.

Posted by om | Report as abusive

Dr I Noor,You should have said this 800 years ago. Whereever islam has gone they have put shiver in all the countries.They are scared to death becuase of islam.You have been extremely successful in finding many ingenious ways to kill people. It starts with stoning,then with whip lashes, then with barbaric assaults rape plunder murder , it is a written constitution of allah to destroy kafirs. It is also written by allah you can impersonate, tell lies, violate contracts & agreements there is no punishment if you have done all these things sincerely in name of allah.Dawood(PBUH) will be going to heaven & enjoying with 72 virgins as though now he is starved.Can i ask you something sincerely have you never thought of changing your community when you see so much hatred of people following islam. Is killing the vocation for your heredity also ?. How can you live in conscience when you eat the food provided by australia & think of harming their own nation, is patriotism secondary to religion for all of you.Don’t you have any remorse that you can bomb the very country where you have been given birth.Just for my sake atleast once tell me the truth don’t you feel ashamed that you were born a muslim, atleast i will be honest i am ashamed sometimes calling myself a hindu ?.

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

Dr I Noor,Do you remeber one of the person studying to be a doctor a muslim from india was also picked by australian police & summoned for terrorist activity. Why don’t you change islam & say we are religion of terror ( beware of us).Some people in india who live in big houses have this sign board saying ( beware of dogs), now in India, US,Europe,Australia they will also have this board Beware of Noor he can kill you for allah.Don’t you feel you are selfish also just to enjoy 72 virgins you go about killing everyone ??.

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

Although I understand the hurt and agitated sentiments of all Indians, I don’t think it is fair to blame all Muslims or Islam for this one dimensional extremist jehadi ideology. Muslims all over the world hate being categorized in the name of their religion as a community that thrives on terror and violence. If we continue to loosely associate terrorism with Islam, that is going to cause more hurt and more agitation among the Muslims.I’m really not sure what can be a solution to this impending problem but I’m 100% sure that going to war with Pakistan is not an option. India has some tough decisions to make in the near future. This situation is clearly nearing a boiling point if it already hasn’t passed it.

Posted by Rakesh Shirke | Report as abusive

From an American point of view, the war on terror is a Trillion dollar a year industry. We support Pakistan knowing it is the Terrorist Capitol of the world. This is because we stand to loose a lot of money if we get rid of the Country like we have done to Iraq. We realize their will be casualities however, they are expendable. A terrorist who kills innocent people how much money does he make, how much money do the people he kills make, not much when you compare how much corporations, governments and rich individuals make for ensuring this terror never ends. Look at the Muslim population all over the world besides the Middle East the majority of Muslims are poor. They are used as ponds in a chess game so that the rich get richer. Dont kid yourselves about hating Muslims. The truth is it is the Rich that is so greedy they will cause death and distruction just so that the can get more rich.

Posted by toto | Report as abusive

This ongoing problem is not going to end soon. Everyone knows who is wrong and what is wrong.The civilian government in Pakistan is not in charge of their territory and it is premature to think that they can contain it or confine thier own ISI- Frankenstein’s Monster!!! They will have to live with this fact unless they eliminate it one by one – the Russian style which is hard to happen.Many in India are forced to think SURGICAL AIR STRIKES on key locations could be considered as an option to neutralise the terrorist origins. If terrorist can used their technology and flexibility on strike targets, countries could use their superior strike capacities.This action will not solve the problem but could act as a deterrent to its planners to think twice. This is a like a PARACETMOL treatment on an impending chest pain!! But is it not better than any treatment at all???

Posted by Appu | Report as abusive

Toto,There are only 2 solutions to this problem. One is a civilized way & second is auncivilized way.In a civilized way they need to adopt Gandhiji’s non Violence wherein for every terrorist strike 5000 muslims in India & Pakistan convert to a different religion like scientology,buddhism & others. When such an act is done & atleast a million people sacrifice their lives without taking a weapon i am sure terrorist also would think twice before killing anyone.This battle needs to be fought in every house so that their children & their grand children will remember this deep sacrifice & find a future of prosperity,love.Their action means human beings will progress in this planet.If Option a fails then the only way the planet can be saved is by having a war a war where all malices of science invented in labaratory will be unleashed from nerve gas,to virus weaopons to heat weapons & nuke bombs. There will be millions who will be killed within the 1st week itself & south asia/middle east will see its population reducing by 90% & a new civilization will sprout which gives enormous prosperity.I think whether it is Allah or Bhagawan Vishnu both have cursed this land that there has to be suffering & pain. If there was God he would have found solution by now. I am not sure both these gods like their people.Like it or not it may be superstition of a 5000 years i usually open the book of Ramayan in every momentous turn of my life & many predictions did come closer, this time when i opened that same book it landed on the pages of toleration,patience & love.While i hated what i saw on those pages, i am sure this crisis will pass & victory for allah has been signed but i am not sure whether this will be an eternal victory for Allah since it is very unlikely that spirit of a people of 5000 years can be defeated.One day they will pay when all other gods unite against Allah, till that time let him rejoice the blood his disciples are giving him nigeria,dafur,mumbai,kashmir,bosnia,newy ork,london,greece.I have seen 2 things in this episode 90% of muslims have seen jubilation for their victory in their hearts & 90% of kafirs have seen defeat in their hearts. The first bullet for war has been fired from pakistan.A billion people have been turned into cowards by allah’s disciple.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

Frankly there will be no war bwn India and pak till next april ie the general elections.But GOD help pakisthan if there is any bombings which can be remotely linked to pak after BJP comes back to power.All these dooms day scenorios will be real for then.Dont think i believe BJP are war mongering hot heads.But it is just that they have a history of putting into practic ewhat they preach

Posted by lal | Report as abusive

The way you are writing, its as if India started all the wars against Pakistan. In fact India has never started a war with outsiders in any of its 5000 years of existence. Now, it is high time that India takes a tough stand to protect its citizens and actually goes with its threat to blow up terrorists camps in Pakistan, if Pakistan does not offer instant and full cooperation.

Posted by MK | Report as abusive

Even if any credible evidence is found implicating Pakistanis in the Mumbai attacks, the Indian fantasy of “doing a Lebanon” is completely futile and misguided. Instead of military confrontation against each other, India and Pakistan must be persuaded to collaborate and together confront the terrorists who indiscriminately inflict pain and suffering on Indians, Pakistanis, Americans, Europeans and the rest of the world.Please read: -do-lebanon-in-pakistan.html

Posted by Riaz Haq | Report as abusive

we all belong to the same world, we have to make this world safer than before.Some thime I feel that the world world is carried away by propaganda of the negative thinking people, racists whether they belong to any religion or region.i wish we could understand the problems of the world and sole those , this we can do with knowledge of the war can solve the problem, we should not talk about war rather we should punish the culprits.i know that a huge majority of the people of pakistan and muslim world do not believe in extremism and they are peace loving people but the world community is treating them as terrorrists.i suggest that know them with out any bias and then solve the problem amicably.

Posted by Tufail Malik | Report as abusive

Frankly this whole thing is just bizzare. The americans who thing there are the kings of the world are trying to provoke both pakistan and india to have war like they did in 1946 when they seperated and became different countries. And even if someone from pakistan did bomb mumbai, then its a small group, why harm the whole country for a small group of people. Its totally unfair. and plus so many bombings have happened in pakistan in the past; pakistan has never gone blaming india are taking real big action against india. Everyones just getting too hyped up about the whole sistuation nd not understanding that the real culprits should be punished and not a whole nation.I’m not going to be biased about anything because everyone is human and well; this world has this thing against muslims anyways; where ever terrorism comes, oh its muslims and the next target muslim country is pakistan and totally unfair;you cant just wipe out a country because you say a few people from that country bombed mumbai. For god sake. Thats just being stubborn. next thing you knwo, oh an earthquakes apperared and its pakistan.all everyone needs to do is sit and think; without being biased

Posted by anonumous | Report as abusive