Tag Archives: Mumbai

Subcontinet/South Asia- Irresponsible Media

Pakistsan/India- Stunned by the Mumbai terror attacks and dismayed by the strain it has put on India-Pakistan ties, many Pakistanis are blaming the media of the two countries for vitiating ties through “irresponsible” reporting.

“I have been monitoring TV channels and newspapers of both countries and am shocked that they are insisting that their leaders issue harsh statements against each other,” said Ambreen Hussain, a political science student at Iqra University.

Most anchors of the Indian channels are busy blaming Pakistan for the attacks, while Pakistani anchors are busy refuting these charges and trying to prove that the attacks were done by terrorists groups within India.

Misbah Fasih, who works with an international NGO, said: “I believe the media in India and Pakistan are free but highly irresponsible… it seems that either they are not trained to cover events of such sensitive nature or they are trained to excel in accusing others.”

Indian authorities have blamed “elements in Pakistan” for the Mumbai terror strikes. However, Islamabad has denied playing any role in the tragedy and offered to help New Delhi probe the attack.

Some Pakistani media reports have suggested that the attacks were orchestrated by Indians for political gain.

Giving examples of the “dirty role” played by the Indian and Pakistani media in souring relations, Fasih said the anchor of a private Indian news channel repeatedly said that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was directly involved in the attacks.

Similarly, a Pakistani private television suggested that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had masterminded the attacks for the benefit of the ruling Congress party, which was losing popularity and is likely to lose the polls scheduled for early next year.

“I don’t know if this campaign is sponsored by the respective governments or the journalists themselves are trying to prove their loyalty to the country… this is no nationalism but unprofessionalism,” said Fasih.

Meanwhile, Pakistani politicians have agreed to come together to tackle the diplomatic crisis arising out of Mumbai terror attacks even tribal leaders in the restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP) urged the government to remove troops from their region and focus on securing the border with India.

All the parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jama’at Islami (JI) and the coalition partners attended the National Security Conference.

President Asif Ali Zardari had also spoken to several world leaders, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and discussed the situation.

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy: A candle lit vigil

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) & Peace Karachi is holding a candle lit vigil for Peace against Mumbai & Karachi Carnage at Karachi Press Club on December 04, 2008, 5: pm at Karachi Press club. Please join vigil and say no to war and every kind of Hatred.

Terrorism can’t be fought with terrorism

Mumbai Tragedy and its impact on Pak-India Relationship

Terrorism has no nationality or a religion

by: Iqbal Tareen, USA

Our brothers and sisters in India became victims of the similar insane and inhuman attacks that our people in Pakistan have been subjected to for a long time. The blood of innocent men, women, and children that is shed in both countries makes us brothers and sisters in blood.

Our common enemy is trying to turn our nations into a cloud of smoke. Can we find common grounds to fight back this threat? There are political groups in both countries, which are taking an unholy advantage of this tragedy to settle their own narrow political and ethnic accounts.

We know terror can’t be fought with terror just the way you can’t wash dirt with the dirt. We also know every Pashtoon is not a terrorist and every terrorist is not a Pashtoon. We can’t allow gang violence in Pakistan to substitute state power and legal governance.

This is a wake up call for all who have decided to take a sideline. History will not absolve them and will remember them with an unkind headline. I urge you to join us in this historic meeting of Forum for Justice and Democracy at Sadaf Restaurant, 1327 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 to take a stand against violence and terror.

Join us to send a strong message that we are watching and so is the world. We will not tolerate intolerance that continues setting communities and nations against each other.

Real target of Mumbai terrorists is to destroy Pakistani peace bid

by Tarek Fatah

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

The mayhem in Mumbai had barely subsided when I received the first e-mail suggesting the terrorist attacks had been carried out by agents of Mossad–Israel’s military intelligence- -masquerading as Islamic terrorists to give Muslims a bad name. Alex James of Toronto forwarded a news item claiming, “India’s Internal Security Police are now holding and questioning an identified Israeli Mossad agent, who had been in communication with some of the alleged terrorists in India two weeks before the BLACK OP attacks took place.”

As ridiculous as this may sound, chances are countless Muslims are deluding themselves into believing that it is not their co-religionists who are responsible for the savagery let loose on India, but some hidden hand that is part of a U.S.-Zionist conspiracy against Islam.

If there was an intelligence agency whose fingerprints can be spotted all over the crime scene, it appears to be Islamist rogue elements from the .., hell-bent on disrupting a marked improvement in India’s relations with neighbouring Pakistan. For two decades, the ISI has been the de facto government in Pakistan, toppling regimes, aiding the Taliban, giving cover to al-Qaeda fugitives and running a business empire worth billions of dollars.

In July, the new democratically elected government in Islamabad led by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) attempted to bring the ISI under civilian control, but under threat of a military coup, had to perform a humiliating about-face within 24 hours.

Then last Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign minister announced the political wing of the ISI that was responsible for rigging elections and blackmailing politicians had been disbanded, saying, “The ISI is a precious national institution and wants to focus on counterterrorism activities.” It seems the foreign minister had spoken too soon. Within hours of his announcement, the BBC reported that an unnamed senior security official had contradicted the statement.

While the ISI-PPP tussle for control of the country’s intelligence network was going on behind the scenes, on Tuesday, the president of Pakistan, Asif Zardari, threw a bombshell that caught the Pakistan military establishment off guard. Speaking to an Indian TV audience, Zardari announced a strategic shift in Pakistan’s nuclear policy. He startled a cheering Indian audience, saying Pakistan had adopted a “no-first-strike” nuclear-war policy. This apparently did not go down well within Pakistan’s military establishment that has ruled the country for decades using the “Indian bogey” to starve the nation of much-needed development investment in order to put the huge military machine on a permanent war footing with no war in sight. Immediately, the military commentators denounced Zardari.

Zardari also borrowed a quote from his late wife, who once said there’s a “little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan” in every Indian. “I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today,” Zardari said.

While most Pakistanis welcomed the new air of peace and friendship, the country’s religious right was upset.

Just a month ago, the founder of one of Pakistan’s most feared armed Islamist groups had accused Zardari of being too dovish toward India, and criticized him for referring to militants in Indian-held Kashmir as “terrorists.” Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),a major militant group fighting in Indian Kashmir, described Zardari’s comments as “a clear violation and digression from the consistent policy of Pakistan.”Then Wednesday, the so-called “Deccan Mujahedeen” struck against India with the clear aim of triggering a Hindu backlash against the country’s minority Muslims, with the obvious danger to Pakistan-India relations.

Most security commentators agree the Deccan Mujahedeen is merely a tag of convenience and that behind this well-planned terror attack lies the secret hands of the LeT. The same LeT that had warned Zardari to desist from warming up to India.

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

In the meantime, Muslims around the world will also have to decide whether to enter the 21st century and distance themselves from the doctrine of armed jihad, or embrace these haters of joy and peace.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tarek Fatah is author of Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic illusion of an Islamic State (Wiley).

Courtesy : The Calgary Herald

Source – http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=6e142936-e33f-4e0a-9bb0-4d4b183daa7c

Terrorist attacks in Mumbai is an act of cowardice

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

INDIA: Terrorist attacks in Mumbai is an act of cowardice

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns the violent attacks unleashed in Mumbai by an underground armed group calling itself the Deccan Mujahudeen. As reports come in, an estimated 107 innocent persons have lost their lives and more than 300 persons injured in the incident. More than 200 persons are currently being held hostage by this armed group. The attack has prompted the government to impose curfew in many parts of Mumbai, which is also the financial hub of the country.

The pattern of attacks on soft targets, like innocent persons in a railway station, three hospitals, at least three hotels, other public spaces and government establishments like the police headquarters shows the military-style coordination of the assailants and their absolute disregard of human life.

The fact that most of the assailants are relatively young is alarming. It is of particular relevance given the fact that several terrorist recruitment cells were reported be operative throughout the country. The topography of the city, the widespread and simultaneous nature of the attack with high level of coordination and the sophisticated weapons reportedly being used by the assailants suggests the possibility of a large-scale preparation prior to the attack.

While world leaders have condemned the ongoing terrorist attack, the terrorists through their actions have made it clear that they have nothing in common with Islam, the religion they claim to represent or defend.

It is reported that the Indian authorities have taken steps to contain the ongoing violence and to end the hostage situation. It is reported that in at least two hotels, the Obroi Trident and the Taj, the terrorists are holding hostages.

Mumbai and several other cities in India have been subjected to similar attacks by underground forces in the past. On 11 July 2006, 147 persons were killed and an estimated 439 persons injured in Mumbai when bombs planted in suburban trains went off. On October 30 this year, 62 persons were killed and an estimated 300 persons were injured after 12 high-intensity bombs went off in Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon – three towns in the state of Assam.

A hundred persons were injured and 20 killed when five bombs went off in busy market places in the national capital New Delhi on September 13 this year. Forty persons were killed and over 100 persons were injured in bomb explosions that rocked Ahmedabad in Gujarat state on 26 July. Sixty persons were killed and 150 injured when 10 bombs went off in Jaipur in Rajasthan state on 13 May 2008. Most of those who lost their lives or were injured in all these incidents, like many other terrorist attacks across the world, were innocent civilians.

Violence against innocent persons is an act of cowardice. Loss of human life can never be an excuse for the propagation of an ideology or conviction. Those who resort to murder and violence as a means of communication rule out the possibility of a peaceful space to settle disputes and are a threat to democracy and its norms. Violence is only a crude tool for societal fragmentation. The assailants who murdered innocent civilians in India in this incident and those in the past have only increased the unwarranted divides among religious groups in the country.

The AHRC iterates that it condemns the violence and wishes to express its concern for those who have lost their dear ones and have been injured in this incident. It also calls upon the authorities in India to ensure that all possible measures are taken so that the least damage is caused in putting an end to the violence.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

AHRC-STM-300-2008, November 27, 2008

The Assault on Mumbai- India’s Leaders Need to Look Closer to Home

India’s Leaders Need to Look Closer to Home

The Assault on Mumbai

By TARIQ ALI

The terrorist assault on Mumbai’s five-star hotels was well planned, but did not require a great deal of logistic intelligence: all the targets were soft. The aim was to create mayhem by shining the spotlight on India and its problems and in that the terrorists were successful. The identity of the black-hooded group remains a mystery.

The Deccan Mujahedeen, which claimed the outrage in an e-mail press release, is certainly a new name probably chosen for this single act. But speculation is rife. A senior Indian naval officer has claimed that the attackers (who arrived in a ship, the M V Alpha) were linked to Somali pirates, implying that this was a revenge attack for the Indian Navy’s successful if bloody action against pirates in the Arabian Gulf that led to heavy casualties some weeks ago.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has insisted that the terrorists were based outside the country. The Indian media has echoed this line of argument with Pakistan (via the Lashkar-e-Taiba) and al-Qaeda listed as the usual suspects.

But this is a meditated edifice of official India’s political imagination. Its function is to deny that the terrorists could be a homegrown variety, a product of the radicalization of young Indian Muslims who have finally given up on the indigenous political system. To accept this view would imply that the country’s political physicians need to heal themselves.

Al Qaeda, as the CIA recently made clear, is a group on the decline. It has never come close to repeating anything vaguely resembling the hits of 9/11.

Its principal leader Osama bin Laden may well be dead (he certainly did not make his trademark video intervention in this year’s Presidential election in the United States) and his deputy has fallen back on threats and bravado.

What of Pakistan? The country’s military is heavily involved in actions on its Northwest frontier where the spillage from the Afghan war has destabilized the region. The politicians currently in power are making repeated overtures to India. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, not usually shy of claiming its hits, has strongly denied any involvement with the Mumbai attacks.

Why should it be such a surprise if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims? Its hardly a secret that there has been much anger within the poorest sections of the Muslim community against the systematic discrimination and acts of violence carried out against them of which the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in shining Gujarat was only the most blatant and the most investigated episode, supported by the Chief Minister of the State and the local state apparatuses.

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised.

Indian intelligence outfits are well aware of all this and they should not encourage the fantasies of their political leaders. Its best to come out and accept that there are severe problems inside the country. A billion Indians: 80 percent Hindus and 14 percent Muslims. A very large minority that cannot be ethnically cleansed without provoking a wider conflict.

None of this justifies terrorism, but it should, at the very least, force India’s rulers to direct their gaze on their own country and the conditions that prevail. Economic disparities are profound. The absurd notion that the trickle-down effects of global capitalism would solve most problems can now be seen for what it always was: a fig leaf to conceal new modes of exploitation.

Tariq Ali’s latest book, ‘The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power’ is published by Scribner.

Courtesy and Thanks: CounterPunch.org

http://www.counterpunch.org/tariq11272008.html

Pakistanis Saddened At News of Mumbai Attacks

Islamabad: Pakistanis watched with despair and sorrow as images of the Mumbai terror attacks were played out by local television channels Thursday, even as they strongly condemned terrorism in the neighbouring country. Almost all leading channels of Pakistan showed live footage from Mumbai and also telecast Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address to Indians.. “This is so sad that this region is in the grip of violence and terrorism, Shamim Bano, a student of the Quaid-e-Azam Universily, told IANS. She said her mother was in tears after seeing the horrible incident on television. People remained glued to their TV sets throughout the day and were seen visibly sad over the deaths of more than 100 people.”..
Several Indian journalists from Mumbai also appeared on Pakistani televisions to detail the latest situation. “This is unprecedented, the way Pakistani television channels presented details of the incidents and the way Pakistani people reacted to it, Abdul Hameed told IANS, adding that since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, he had never seen such sympathy among Pakistanis for the Indians. “This is all because of the media that people in both the countries have developed likeness for each other, he said.”
Pakistani leaders, both from the ruling coalition and the opposition, also strongly condemned the killings. President Asif Ali Zardari, while condemning the blasts and firing, called fro strict measures to deal with terrorism. “President Zardari stressed the need for taking strict measures to eradicate terrorism and extremis from the region,” a brief message issued by the ministry of information said. It said that Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the terrorist attacks…
An official of the Indian High Commision in Islamabad said that the mission has received a number of messages and phone calls to condemn the blasts and firing incidents. “We are thankful to the (Pakistani) people for expressing their sympathies,” the official told IANS…

Mumbai train blasts accused nabbed in London

London, United Kingdom: The Interpol in London has arrested Rahil Shaikh, one of the key accused in the July 11, 2006, suburban train blasts in Mumbai that killed 187 people. Shaikh is accused of organising finances for the Mumbai terror operation that left 187 dead and a shopping 817 injured. Shaikh, a suspected activist of he banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

LPP protest against Mumbai terrorist attacks in Lahore Pakistan

Report by: Farooq Tariq, Spokesperson, Labour Party Pakistan

Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) is organizing a protest against the terrorist attack on Mumbai, on 28 November at 4 pm at Shimla Pehari Lahore. This is to protest the growing terrorist attacks by religious fundamentalists and American imperialists. Ordinary people are paying the price of this bull fight. LPP will show solidarity with those killed and injured in Mumbai attacks. Please join if you are in Lahore.

Continue reading LPP protest against Mumbai terrorist attacks in Lahore Pakistan

The doctrine of jihad be denounced as inhuman- The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC)

MCC shocked at Mumbai terrorist attack “Doctrine of Jihad must be denounced as inhuman”

TORONTO – The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), in expressing shock and dismay at the terror strikes in Mumbai has condemned these egregious acts of violence .

In a statement, the MCC said, there is little doubt that which ever jihadi outfit was behind this heinous crime, it was motivated by hate and a want to sabotage the recent thawing of relations between India and Pakistan. The bombings come barely a week after peace overtures by President Asif Zardari who stated he did not see India as an adversary and had called for closer relations.

The MCC statement called on world leaders to confront the scourge of Islamist terrorism by challenging the validity of the doctrine of jihad as laid out by the worldwide Islamist movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and a myriad of soft jihadi organizations in the West.

Unless and until this doctrine of jihad is confronted at the ideological level, fighting the war on terror is like shooting individual mosquitoes to combat malaria. Without challenging the Islamist doctrine of armed Jihad, it is futile to confront the jihadis. Just as Canada and its allies waged a war against Nazis as part of the war against Germany, today Canada and its allies should expose the doctrine of Jihad as pronounced by such Islamists as the later Syed Qutb and Syed Maudoodi, as inhuman and unfit for the modern world.

The MCC hopes that Muslims all over the world will unite to fight the curse of extremist and militant ideologies that sully the name of Islam and bring much disrepute to Muslims.

The MCC is also calling upon the Canadian government to do all it can to help get a speedy release of the six Canadian hostages held by militants.

November 27, 2008

India: A Secular Perspective

HOW SECULAR IS INDIA TODAY?

– Asghar Ali Engineer, Mumbai

(Secular Perspective October 16-31, 2008)

There is always a big gap between theory and practice, theology and history. Indian constitution, no doubt, is one of the best in the world. It is truly secular in spirit so much so it was secular even when word secular was not added to it until 1975 i.e. during emergency. If it were truly implemented India would be an ideal country to live in especially for minorities, both religious as well as linguistic.

Continue reading India: A Secular Perspective

Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis

USA, TX: The president of the Sindhi Association of North America, Aziz Narejo has been invited to speak at an international seminar at the University of Mumbai. The seminar is being organized by the Department of Sindhi, University of Mumbai, at the Vidyanagari Campus on 11th March on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis’. Mr. Narejo is invited to present a paper on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis, Political Implications’.

March 07, 2008