Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Mumbai blasts

I'm still trying to wrap my head around today's revelation by the Indian police that there was Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai blasts in the summer. Specifically, they claim that the ISI and Laskhar-e-Taiba planned and executed the attack, respectively. There are a number of issues to think about here, and frankly my thoughts on the matter aren't clear at this point.

Let's start from the beginning. July 11, horrific attack on Mumbai's transport system - 7 bombs going off in something like 10-20 minutes. Immediate condemnation by Musharraf and the Pakistani government. Reserved reaction from the Indian government. Typically vociferous and accusatory one from the Indian media. Dumb statement from Kasuri. Louder reaction from Indian media. Governments play it cool. Days go by. Weeks even. No evidence linking Pakistan to the attacks. Indian media begins to chill. Some innuendo that the Naxalites may have been the culprits, though nothing is said for certain. And then the Musharraf-Manmohan meeting in Havana in mid-September, resulting in a joint mechanism to tackle terrorism.

As I see it, there is no way in hell the Pakistan government (and by government, I mean Musharraf) could have either known or countenanced the attacks. His entire legacy depends on the peace process with India. Think about it. What other tangible, long lasting achievement can this man possibly walk away with? Women's rights reform? Nope. Quelling of the Balochistan insurgency? Uh, no. Kalabagh? Not last time I checked. Madrassah/education reform? Don't think so. Clearing NWFP of the Taliban types? Definitely not. So what's left? India, India, India. The man wants a long-lasting peace with India, both for his legacy and for the fact that he genuinely thinks it's in our interest. Think about all the proposals he's made on Kashmir, all his "out-of-the-box" solutions, his ideas on road and rail links. The man complimented M.S. Dhoni's hair for God's sake, when in actual fact, Dhoni's hair is disgusting.

So if we accept the premise that Musharraf didn't know about the attacks, then there are 3 possibilities in my mind: (a) the Indian police is wrong, (b) the Indian police is lying, or (c) Musharraf doesn't have complete control over the ISI and its activities. I'll try to think about each of these, and which one is most likely (early bet is on c), and write about it tomorrow. For now, sleep beckons.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Ahsan is an intelligence expert and a close aide of President Musharraf. For inside knowledge, he's the man!

Moss J said...

No need for the sarcasm, man. Hundred of people on blogs are giving their own opinions on world affairs.

Also your joke is off-base because most of Mr AHSAN's comments are usually anti-Pakistan. It is one of the reasons we are at odds, but do not begrudge him the right to state his opinions.

Anonymous said...

Aww see I was just trying to help Ahsan see that there's no pressure having to express opinions on every single thing... especially those which require a fair amount of specific knowledge and are issues of fact moreso than opinion anyway.