Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mumbai Jihad - ideas on the way forward

Yesterday India made its first formal announcement in the Mumbai terror attacks and implicated Pakistanis as directly responsible for the killings that took place over a three day period beginning Friday last week.
With tensions high between Islamabad and New Delhi after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Indian foreign minister said Tuesday his country had demanded that Pakistan arrest and hand over about 20 people wanted under Indian law as fugitives. The demand was made when India summoned Pakistan’s ambassador on Monday evening and told him that Pakistanis were responsible for the terrorist attacks here last week and must be punished.
While this might be the first salvo in a bitter press battle likely to follow, greatbong has a compelling take on the way forward and why the 'press battle' route might not be the prudent one to follow this time around. (While at it, greatbong includes some harsh words for Indian expatriates).
The most important thing in the way forward is how India handles the issue of Pakistan and its role in 26/11. The wrong way to go about things is to get into a press battle with Pakistan by making public statements hinting at having conclusive proof of “foreign involvement” and leaving it at that. Unfortunately this is exactly what India has done. To be honest, India will always find it tough to win the international media war despite being the victim because 1) The Indian government does not invest in lobbying as much as Pakistan does. Which is why you will see Pakistani diplomats on CNN and not their Indian counterparts and 2) Indian expatriates, despite being a wealthy constituent of US society and a significant source of campaign cash for both parties, lack the patriotic enthusiasm of the Cuban or the Chinese diaspora when it comes to using their financial might for the homeland.

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