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World media blames Pak for terrorism

World media blames Pak for terrorism

Author: Chidanand Rajghatta, Times News Network
Publication: The Times of India - Internet Edition
Date: December 21, 2001
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1462244582

General Musharraf might deny it. The Bush administration might refuse to acknowledge it. But as far as the world media is concerned, Pakistan's role in nurturing and fomenting terrorism is beyond doubt.

Contrary to the widespread belief being built up in Pakistan that it is a victim of machiavellian Indian propaganda, media reports across the world have begun identifying the country as the source of terrorism.

Reports, editorials and commentaries are increasingly beginning to take note of Musharraf regime's endorsement, if not outright complicity, in terrorist activity against India, with calls for action by the general against terrorist groups.

Notably, there are no buyers for the rather absurd Pakistani theory that India stage-managed the attack on its own Parliament to pin the blame on Pakistan. The Wall Street Journal described the charge as laughable and The New York Times characterised it as blithe. The Washington Post said India had "credibly blamed" Pakistan-based terrorist groups.

"Every shred of evidence that discredits an Islamic society--or those who would act in the name of Islam--is an American fakery, done to slander Muslims, or a Jewish counterfeit, or, as here, a monstrous Indian/Hindu trick," the WSJ noted in a commentary.

Newspapers also backed India's right of self-defence and praised its restraint while putting the onus on Pakistan and Musharraf to crack down on terrorist groups.

"Pakistan still hosts, trains and arms terrorist groups like the ones believed to have carried out the attack in New Delhi. President Musharraf has some serious explaining to do in the next few days, as to what role Pakistani-based groups or the Pakistani government played in the attack in New Delhi," The New York Post said in an editorial.

The Boston Herald was even more forthright, forsaking the kind of dissembling and doubt-mongering typical of US officials. "The Indian government has solid evidence that Pakistan-based terrorists are responsible for last week's attack on its parliament. If Washington wants to avoid a war between two nuclear powers, it had better pressure our new ally, the government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to crack down on anti-Indian terrorism," it said.

But it was the editorial comments in the policy-setting big two - The New York Times and Washington Post - calling on Musharraf to act that weighed in most. Significantly, the papers renounced the usual line that India should respond to Pakistan's terrorism by agreeing to talk on Kashmir.

Indian officials are believed to have impressed media pundits that the attack on Parliament goes beyond Kashmir and strikes at the very root of Indian democracy and nationhood, and that New Delhi will not be blackmailed into holding talks on Kashmir at the point of gun.

Editorial support also came from papers as far apart as the Japan Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Extracts:

Cincinnati Post: It would be hypocritical of the United States to tell India, in effect, that our war on terrorism has to take precedence over their war on terrorism. At the same time, it's only sound policy to head off a confrontation between two nuclear powers, one dangerously angry, the other dangerously unstable.

Washington Post: Pakistani terrorist groups long connected to both al Qaeda and the Taliban have been credibly blamed by India for carrying out a suicide assault on the parliament building in New Delhi. Fortunately, India's democratic government has reacted to the assault with admirable restraint; though it has as much right as the United States or Israel to defend itself against the extremists, it has so far refrained from acting while waiting to see what Mr. Musharraf would do. The Pakistani president has temporized, demanding to see evidence that the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed groups were involved. If he can act decisively in the coming weeks Mr. Musharraf could put Pakistan firmly on a course to greater stability and renewed development. If he flinches, he will likely face an even greater crisis.

Toronto Globe and Mail: Gen. Musharraf's insistence that Pakistan's hands are clean in Thursday's attacks rings a little hollow. His country's secret service has a long record of supporting assorted Islamist extremists, most conspicuously Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime. If the general wishes to maintain U.S. support, he will heed the stern advice from Washington and quickly move to crack down on terrorist groups that operate with Pakistani support.

Japan Times: Pakistan's denials are not very convincing. The best solution is action by Islamabad. President Pervez Musharraf has promised to be a full participant in the war against terrorism; that job is indivisible. To live up to that pledge he should close the training camps for Muslim separatists that his intelligence services operate.

The New York Times: Gen. Pervez Musharraf must crack down on terrorist groups operating in his own country or he may undermine his own rule as well as the American campaign against terrorism.
 


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