‘Mumbai blasts reactions a distraction in war against terror’

December 5th, 2008 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Dec 5 (IANS) The manner in which Pakistan, India and the US have reacted to the Mumbai terror attacks will only serve the interests of Al Qaeda and distract from the war against terror along this country’s western border, a respected Pakistani commentator said Friday. “Whether Al Qaeda is involved or not…the unfolding consequences of this dark event are proving to be a triumph for Al Qaeda and its strategic aims and a grave setback for the broad coalition, led by the United States, which is trying to defeat and destroy Al Qaeda, so far, it has to be said, not all that successfully,” Ayaz Amir wrote in The News.

The article was headlined “Indian tragedy, Al Qaeda triumph”.

According to Amir, Osama bin Laden, “if he is still around, must be rubbing his hands in glee, as would his second-in-command, Ayman Al Zawahiri, for at a stroke the regional war on terror coalition lies unhinged.”

“The way India and Pakistan are responding to this tragedy could have been scripted by Al Qaeda,” Amir maintained.

Pointing to the impact of renewed India-Pakistan tensions on the Pakistan Army’s ongoing operations against the Taliban and assorted militants in the tribal Wild West along the Afghan frontier, Amir said: “The Pakistan Army’s heart was never in this fight in which it found itself engaged only because of overwhelming American pressure.”

“Now, with India sounding aggressive and thirsting for some sort of revenge in the wake of the attack on Mumbai, the Pakistan Army has a valid and pressing reason to turn its attention to something closer to its ethos and training: the threat from India,” the writer noted.

“What the terror bombings and suicide attacks inside Pakistan could not lead to, the Mumbai attacks look like achieving: drawing Pakistan’s attention away from the western theatre to the eastern front. Whom does this situation suit? Al Qaeda,” Amir maintained.

The US too, Amir said, “could have done without this distraction. When it has its hands full in Afghanistan, it suddenly has to step in and defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.”

“Level any accusations against Pakistan…but its support is crucial for America’s increasingly problematic war in Afghanistan. If the Pakistan Army pulls out the four or five divisions deployed in and around FATA, the Taliban heave a sigh of relief, their insurgency in Afghanistan gets a boost and America’s Afghan war becomes that much more un-winnable,” Amir contended.

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