Post Mumbai attacks, Pakistani leaders burn the midnight oil

December 8th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 8 (IANS) Subcontinental tensions following the Mumbai terror attacks have forced Pakistan’s top leadership to burn the midnight oil by working on Sunday and on the Eid holiday Monday.“The standoff between Pakistan and India after (the) Mumbai incident followed by alarming tension has compelled Prime Minister’s House, Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office and other relevant offices to work on Sunday despite it being a closed holiday as work is going on round the clock due to the precarious situation in relations with India,” The News said Monday.

“All the offices concerned are expected to sacrifice their Eid-ul-Azha holiday for dealing with the situation,” it added.

The report was headlined “Indian threats keep Pakistani leaders on their toes”.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and the service chiefs were present in their respective offices till midnight on Sunday, the newspaper said.

“The government has completed all the arrangements to deal with any eventuality and it is satisfied that the political leadership has lived up to the challenge of the hour and demonstrated unity in its ranks. It has given a strong message at home and abroad simultaneously, the sources added,” The News said.

Indian and US intelligence officials say that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group were involved in the Mumbai strikes that killed 172 people and injured nearly 250.

The attacks had prompted US President George Bush to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to New Delhi last week to express Washington’s solidarity with India in the wake of the outrage.

Travelling to Islamabad from New Delhi Thursday, Rice said she expected a “robust” response from Islamabad on the Mumbai attacks.

She also asked Pakistan to crack down down on “non-state players” acting from its territory. This was in response to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s remark that “stateless” players were behind the Mumbai attacks.

On Monday, there were reports that security agencies had moved against an LeT camp in Pakistani Kashmir and had arrested its commander, Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi, whose extradition India has sought.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |