Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Report Links Pakistan to Mumbai Attack

The New York Times is covering the release of a report "compiled by Indian authorities and officially shared Monday with the Pakistani government."

"The information seems designed to achieve at least two Indian objectives. First, it seeks to demonstrate that the attackers were sent from Pakistan. The dossier, a copy of which was provided to the New York Times, contains photographs of materials found on the fishing trawler they took: a bottle of Mountain Dew soda packaged in Karachi; pistols that bore the markings of a gun manufacturer in Peshawar; Pakistani-made items like a matchbox, detergent powder and shaving cream.
Second, the information seeks to rally international support for the Indian effort to press Pakistan on its handling of militants. It contains a list of 26 foreigners killed in the Mumbai attacks, and chronicles India’s efforts in recent years to persuade Pakistan to investigate suspects involved in terror attacks inside India and shut down terror training camps inside Pakistani territory. In its final pages, it demands that Pakistan hand over “conspirators” to face trial in India and comply with its promise to stop terrorist groups from functioning inside its territory. It was shared this week with diplomats from friendly nations; one described it as “comprehensive,” another as “convincing.”

Pakistan and India have not been on the best of terms since Pakistan was created following the grant of independence to India by the British in the late 1940s. Border wars between the two countries have popped up from time to time over the past 60 years. One might say, "OK," so there have been skirmishes along the border, so what?

The "what" is this-- India and Pakistan both possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan has exported its technology to places like Iran. India continued nuclear bomb testing long after it was fashionable to do so. Stable countries? To some, no. Driven by religious fervor and an inferiority complex, Pakistan seeks to reach its place in the sun. India, by sheer population size, dwarfs Pakistan.

Will the report heal the rift between India and Pakistan? No, but it could give the Pakistani government a pretext to crack down on extremist groups and their backers.

Read more here

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