Pak must accept responsibility for Mumbai carnage: WP

December 23rd, 2008 - 12:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): The evidences emerging till now clearly points out that the Mumbai terror attacks were planned from Pakistan and its civilian government take the responsibility for the carnage, a leading American daily has said.

In a hard-hitting editorial, the Washington Post pointed out that by now, the evidence that the terrorist assault on Mumbai was planned and directed from Pakistan is overwhelming

The lone surviving attacker, a Pakistani national, has signed a statement describing how he was recruited and trained by the Lashkar-i-Taiba group. Intelligence officials say cellphone intercepts show that the attackers were communicating with Lashkar commanders in Pakistan during the attacks, the Post said.

During a visit to Islamabad, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke for the West when he openly blamed Lashkar-i-Taiba for the siege, and added that the time has come for action, and not words, from Pakistan.

Stunningly, however, Pakistans civilian government is refusing to acknowledge the truth. In an interview with the BBC last week, President Asif Ali Zardari claimed that there is still no proof that the attackers came from his country.

Several days earlier, he told Lally Weymouth of Newsweek and The Post that I dont have any specific information showing that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan.

Under heavy pressure from the Bush Administration, Zardaris government has placed the leader of Lashkar-i-Taiba under a loose house arrest and rounded up several dozen of its militants, including the man India has identified as the chief planner of the attacks.

This unconvincing sweep looks bad in the light of history: After a Lashkar-sponsored assault on Indias Parliament in 2002, the government arrested many of the same people and formally banned the group. Later the suspects were quietly released, and the organization reemerged under the name Jamaat-ud-Dawa, The Post said.

Supporters of Zardaris government point out that the Presidents bluster probably covers his lack of authority to crack down on Lashkar-i-Taiba or its allies in Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Since Zardari replaced General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, a master of duplicitous dealings with Washington, the army has stepped up attacks on Taliban militants in provinces bordering Afghanistan, the paper said.

The sponsors of the Mumbai attack no doubt wanted to undermine that campaign as well as steps toward peace by Pakistan and India. Yet, if the war on terrorism is to be won, the excuses for Pakistan must end. The incoming administration should quickly act on President-elect Barack Obamas promises to condition aid, especially to the Pakistani military, on fundamental reforms.

Officers who support the Taliban or groups such as Lashkar-i-Taiba as a check on India must be purged, once and for all. Zardari and other civilian leaders should receive strong U.S. support only if they clearly ally themselves with this agenda.

The first step is relatively simple: To stop denying the truth. (ANI)

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