A-Z collection of insights, opnions and updates of November 2008 Mumbai attack.

Victim's brother speaks out

Musical tribute- to those who died 26/11

Anger into action: What can India do next?

SRK speak out

People get ready

Tackling terror: India's biggest challenge

Moshe

Unconfident Zardari- Look at the way he is answering to Larry King

Indian Muslims Mumbai attackers criminals - 03 Dec 08

Doodh Ka Doodh; Paani Ka Paani

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pakistani dog and Indian dog

Check out this joke a friend sent me!
By Pradyumna Kejriwal and his friend.

The Indians and Pakistanis at the height of the arms race realized that if they continued in the usual manner they were going to blow up the whole world. One day they sat down and decided to settle the whole dispute with one dog fight. They would have five years to breed the best fighting dog in the world and which ever side's dog won would be entitled to dominate the world. The losing side would have to lay down its arms. The Pakistanis found the biggest meanest Doberman and Rottweiler bitches in the world and bred them with the biggest meanest Siberian wolves. They selected only the biggest and strongest puppy from each litter, removed his siblings which gave him all the milk. They used steroids and trainers and after five years came up with the biggest meanest dog the world had ever seen. Its cage needed steel bars that were five inches thick and nobody could get near it. When the day came for the dog fight, the Indians showed up with a strange animal. It was a nine foot long Dachshund. Everyone felt sorry for the Indians because they knew there was no way that this dog could possibly last ten seconds with the Pakistani dog. When the cages were opened up, the Dachshund came out of it's cage and slowly waddled over towards the Pakistani dog. The Pakistani dog snarled and leaped out of it's cage and charged the Indian dachshund. But, when it got close enough to bite the Dachshund's neck, the Dachshund opened it's mouth and consumed the Pakistani dog in one bite. There was nothing left at all of the Pakistani dog. The Pakistanis came up to the Indians shaking their heads in disbelief. "We don't understand how this could have happened. We had our best people working for five years with the meanest Doberman and Rottweiler bitches in the world and the biggest meanest Siberian wolves."

"That's nothing", an Indian replied. "We had our best plastic surgeons working for five years to make an alligator look like a Dachshund."

India’s 9/11? Not Exactly

By AMITAV GHOSH
Published: December 2, 2008
NYTimes.com

SINCE the terrorist assaults began in Mumbai last week, the metaphor of the World Trade Center attacks has been repeatedly invoked. From New Delhi to New York, pundits and TV commentators have insisted that “this is India’s 9/11” and should be treated as such. Nearly every newspaper in India has put “9/11” into its post-massacre headlines. The secretary general of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the leading Hindu nationalist political faction, has not only likened the Mumbai attack to those on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but has insisted that “our response must be close to what the American response was.”

There can be no doubt that there are certain clear analogies between the two attacks: in both cases the terrorists were clearly at great pains to single out urban landmarks, especially those that serve as symbolic points of reference in this increasingly interconnected world. There are similarities, too, in the unexpectedness of the attacks, the meticulousness of their planning, their shock value and the utter unpreparedness of the security services. But this is where the similarities end. Not only were the casualties far greater on Sept. 11, 2001, but the shock of the attack was also greatly magnified by having no real precedent in America’s history.

India’s experience of terrorist attacks, on the other hand, far predates 2001. Although this year has been one of the worst in recent history, 1984 was arguably worse still. That year an insurgency in the Punjab culminated in the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. This in turn led to riots that took the lives of some 2,000 Sikhs.

I was living in Delhi then and I recall vividly the sense of besetting crisis, of extreme fragility, of being pushed to the edge of an abyss: it was the only time I can recall when the very project of the Indian republic seemed to be seriously endangered. Yet for all its horror, the portents of 1984 were by no means fulfilled: in the following years, there was a slow turnaround; the Punjab insurgency gradually quieted down; and although the victims of the massacres may never receive justice in full measure, there has been some judicial retribution.

This has been another terrible year: even before the invasion of Mumbai, several hundred people had been killed and injured in terrorist assaults. Yet the attacks on Jaipur, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Guwahati and elsewhere did not set off chains of retaliatory violence of the sort that would almost certainly have resulted 10 or 15 years ago. Nor did the violence create a sense of existential crisis for the nation, as in 1984. Thus, despite all loss of life, this year could well be counted as a victory not for terrorism but for India’s citizenry.

The question now is this: Will the November invasion of Mumbai change this? Although there is no way of knowing the answer, it is certain that if the precedent of 9/11 is taken seriously the outcome will be profoundly counterproductive. As a metaphor “9/11” is invested not just with the memory of what happened in Manhattan and at the Pentagon in 2001, but also with the penumbra of emotions that surround the events: the feeling that “the world will never be the same,” the notion that this was “the day the world woke up” and so on. In this sense 9/11 refers not just to the attacks but also to its aftermath, in particular to an utterly misconceived military and judicial response, one that has had disastrous consequences around the world.

When commentators repeat the metaphor of 9/11 they are in effect pushing the Indian government to mount a comparable response. If India takes a hard line modeled on the actions of the Bush administration, the consequences are sure to be equally disastrous. The very power of the 9/11 metaphor blinds us to the possibility that there might be other, more productive analogies for the invasion of Mumbai: one is the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004, which led to a comparable number of casualties and created a similar sense of shock and grief.

If 9/11 is a metaphor for one kind of reaction to terrorism, then 11-M (as it is known in Spanish) should serve as shorthand for a different kind of response: one that emphasizes vigilance, patience and careful police work in coordination with neighboring countries. This is exactly the kind of response India needs now, and fortunately this seems to be the course that the government, led by the Congress Party, has decided to follow. Government spokesmen have been at some pains to specify that India does not intend to respond with a troop buildup along the border with Pakistan, as the Bharatiya Janata-led government did after the attack by Muslim extremists on India’s Parliament in 2001.

A buildup would indeed serve no point at all, since this is not the kind of war that can be fought along a border, by conventional armies. The Indian government would do better to focus on an international effort to eliminate the terrorists’ hide-outs and safe houses, some of them deep inside Pakistan. India will also need to cooperate with those in the Pakistani government who have come around to a belated recognition of the dangers of terrorism.

The choice of targets in Mumbai clearly owes something to the September bombing of the Islamabad Marriott, another high-profile site sure to include foreign casualties. Here already there is common ground between the two countries — for if this has been a bad year for India in regard to terrorism, then for Pakistan it has been still worse.

It is clear now that Pakistan’s establishment is so deeply divided that it no longer makes sense to treat it as a single entity. Sometimes a crisis is also an opportunity: this is a moment when India can forge strategic alliances with those sections of the Pakistani government, military and society who understand that they, too, are under fire.

Much will depend, in the coming days, on Mumbai’s reaction to the invasion. That the city was not stricken by turmoil in the immediate aftermath of the attack is undoubtedly a positive sign. That the terrorists concentrated their assault on the most upscale parts of the city had the odd consequence of limiting the disruption in the everyday lives of most Mumbai residents. Chhatrapati Shivaji station, for instance, was open just a few hours after the terrorists there were cleared out. In the northern suburbs, the home of Bollywood’s studios, actors were summoned to rehearsal even while the battles were being fought.

But with each succeeding day, tensions are rising and the natural anxieties of the inhabitants are being played upon. Still, this is not a moment for precipitate action: if India can react with dispassionate but determined resolve, then 2008 may yet be remembered as a moment when the tide turned in a long, long battle. For if there is any one lesson to be learned from the wave of terrorist attacks that has convulsed the globe over the last decade it is this: Defeat or victory is not determined by the success of the strike itself; it is determined by the response.

Amitav Ghosh is the author, most recently, of the novel “Sea of Poppies.”

Calling All Pakistanis

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: December 2, 2008

On Feb. 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?

After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets.

So what can we expect from Pakistan and the wider Muslim world after Mumbai? India says its interrogation of the surviving terrorist indicates that all 10 men come from the Pakistani port of Karachi, and at least one, if not all 10, were Pakistani nationals.

First of all, it seems to me that the Pakistani government, which is extremely weak to begin with, has been taking this mass murder very seriously, and, for now, no official connection between the terrorists and elements of the Pakistani security services has been uncovered.

At the same time, any reading of the Pakistani English-language press reveals Pakistani voices expressing real anguish and horror over this incident. Take for instance the Inter Press Service news agency article of Nov. 29 from Karachi: “ ‘I feel a great fear that [the Mumbai violence] will adversely affect Pakistan and India relations,’ the prominent Karachi-based feminist poet and writer Attiya Dawood told I.P.S. ‘I can’t say whether Pakistan is involved or not, but whoever is involved, it is not the ordinary people of Pakistan, like myself, or my daughters. We are with our Indian brothers and sisters in their pain and sorrow.’ ”

But while the Pakistani government’s sober response is important, and the sincere expressions of outrage by individual Pakistanis are critical, I am still hoping for more. I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of “ordinary people” against the Mumbai bombers, not for my sake, not for India’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake.

Why? Because it takes a village. The best defense against this kind of murderous violence is to limit the pool of recruits, and the only way to do that is for the home society to isolate, condemn and denounce publicly and repeatedly the murderers — and not amplify, ignore, glorify, justify or “explain” their activities.

Sure, better intelligence is important. And, yes, better SWAT teams are critical to defeating the perpetrators quickly before they can do much damage. But at the end of the day, terrorists often are just acting on what they sense the majority really wants but doesn’t dare do or say. That is why the most powerful deterrent to their behavior is when the community as a whole says: “No more. What you have done in murdering defenseless men, women and children has brought shame on us and on you.”

Why should Pakistanis do that? Because you can’t have a healthy society that tolerates in any way its own sons going into a modern city, anywhere, and just murdering everyone in sight — including some 40 other Muslims — in a suicide-murder operation, without even bothering to leave a note. Because the act was their note, and destroying just to destroy was their goal. If you do that with enemies abroad, you will do that with enemies at home and destroy your own society in the process.

“I often make the comparison to Catholics during the pedophile priest scandal,” a Muslim woman friend wrote me. “Those Catholics that left the church or spoke out against the church were not trying to prove to anyone that they are anti-pedophile. Nor were they apologizing for Catholics, or trying to make the point that this is not Catholicism to the non-Catholic world. They spoke out because they wanted to influence the church. They wanted to fix a terrible problem” in their own religious community.

We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective. That is what is needed here.

Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.

Maureen Dowd is off today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Was NDA tough on terror?

Consider this- this is what Shekhar Gupta has to say about terrorism and politics in india in the last 8 years-

I
"...UPA allies consider Muslims their captive voters. So whereas the BJP had tried to paint terrorism as a phenomenon caused and rooted exclusively in Islam, the UPA went to the other extreme: total denial. It also proceeded to repudiate everything that the BJP stood for and had done in government. This included, as one of the UPA's first acts, repealing the very tough Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) that the BJP had passed, and under which the surviving conspirators of the Parliament attack had been tried and convicted in a fast-track court. The UPA junked the special law, painting it as anti-Muslim. But this allowed the BJP, under whose reign police had often indeed misused the law to harass Muslims, to accuse the UPA of appeasing Muslims and blame each subsequent terror attack on the government..."

II
"...rather than fight terror at its roots, the UPA has used the recent capture of a suspected Hindu terror ring, including an Army lieutenant colonel and a woman preacher, to try to embarrass the BJP. The BJP, for its part, has called the whole thing a fabrication aimed to help the UPA retain Muslim support. Terror has been politicized from both ends. And the result is that India's ability to prevent or fight attacks against its economy, icons and population has been weakened dramatically. The intelligence agencies and police forces feel orphaned, with one side calling them partisan and the other, incompetent..."

FOR FULL ARTICLE: http://www.newsweek.com/id/171320/page/1

'We took Mumbai attack orders from Pakistan'

Reuters

Posted: Dec 01, 2008 at 1641 hrs IST

Mumbai:
Investigators said on Monday the militants who attacked Mumbai had months of commando training in Pakistan, adding to rising tensions between the neighbours as recriminations mounted at home.

The fallout prompted a second top politician from the ruling Congress party to resign, amid growing anger at intelligence failures that many Indians believe allowed 10 Islamist gunmen to kill 183 people and besiege India's financial capital for three bloody days.

The attacks, which struck Mumbai's two best-known luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of 18 million, are a major setback for improving ties between India and Pakistan.

The White House said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would visit India on Wednesday, underscoring the seriousness with which Washington viewed the attacks and the potential threat they had to regional stability.

"I don't want to jump to any conclusions myself on this, but I do think that this is a time for complete, absolute, total transparency and cooperation and that is what we expect (from Pakistan)," Rice told reporters travelling with her to London.

Two senior investigators said on condition of anonymity that evidence from the interrogation of Azam Amir Kasav, the only gunmen of the 10 captured alive, clearly showed that Pakistani militants had a hand in the attack.

The clean-shaven, 21-year-old with fluent English was photographed during the attack wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with the Versace logo. He has said his team took orders from "their command in Pakistan", police officials said.

PAKISTAN TRAINING

The training was organised by the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, and conducted by a former member of the Pakistani army, a police officer close to the interrogation said, on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak.

"They underwent training in several phases, which included training in handling weapons, bomb making, survival strategies, survival in a marine environment and even dietary habits," another senior officer said.

The Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba made its name fighting Indian rule in Kashmir but was also blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 that brought the nuclear-armed neighbours close to war.

Lashkar had had close links to Pakistan's military spy agency in the past, security experts say, although the government in Islamabad insists it too is fighting the group and other Islamist extremists based on its soil.

New Delhi has not accused Islamabad's civilian government of involvement but has expressed deep frustration that its neighbour has been unable or unwilling to prevent militants using its soil to attack Indian cities.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has appealed to India not to punish his country for last week's attacks, saying militants could precipitate a war, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

"Even if the militants are linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, who do you think we are fighting?" asked Zardari in an interview with the Financial Times.

Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led anti-militant campaign on the Afghan frontier.

"It's part of the usual blackmail of the United States that Pakistan does to take more interest in India-Pakistan issues," said B. Raman, a former head of Indian intelligence agency RAW.

"NO ONE ACTED"

The leader of Maharashtra's main fishermen's union says he had tipped off the government four months ago about militants using the sea to land RDX explosives in Mumbai.

"No one acted upon our information," Damodar Tandel said.

A huge consignment of explosives and guns brought ashore in Mumbai in 1993 was used to set off a string of bombs in the city that killed 257 people.

Mumbai residents returned to schools and offices on Monday for the first time since the attacks.

Candlelight vigils were held in New Delhi and at various spots in Mumbai on Sunday, with people holding hands, singing and carrying banners, some in remembrance of victims, others protesting over what they saw as government inaction.

Candles and flowers were also strewn at the bullet-scarred Cafe Leopold and at barricades in front of the Taj and Trident hotels, where the gunmen holed up during the 60-hour siege.

Mumbai 27/11

List Of Deaths/ Injuries as of 27/11/2008

<

Mumbai attacks: Why it happened

Live Blast Inside Taj Mahal- courtesy CNN

Oberoi burns again- courtesy CNN

'It didn't sound like fireworks' - courtesy CNN

British nationals hurt in Mumbai - courtesy CNN

Witness saw gunmen - Courtesy CNN

PM of India Speaks

Hotel hostages released

White House reacts to Mumbai