MUMBAI: Maharashtra Police investigators say they have evidence that operatives of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the fidayeen-squad attacks in Mumbai — a charge which, if proven, could have far-reaching consequences for India-Pakistan relations.
Police sources said an injured terrorist captured during the fighting at the Taj Mahal hotel was tentatively identified as Ajmal Amir Kamal, a resident of Faridkot, near Multan, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Highly-placed police sources said two other Pakistani nationals had also been held in the course of intense fighting on Thursday.
All three, the sources said, identified themselves as members of a Lashkar fidayeen squad.Based on the interrogation of the suspects, the investigators believe that one or more groups of Lashkar operatives left Karachi in a merchant ship early on Wednesday. Late that night, an estimated 12 fidayeen left the ship in a small boat and rowed some 10 nautical miles to Mumbai’s Gateway of India area.
The investigators say the fidayeen unit of which Mr. Kamal was a part then split up into at least six groups, each focussing on a separate target: Mumbai’s Nariman House, which is home to a large number of Israeli families and a Jewish prayer house; the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus rail station; the Cama hospital; the Girgaum seafront; and the Taj and Trident Oberoi hotels.
Well, so it goes, this gives the government and all politicians free license to start bashing Pakistan all over again, while failing to take care of all the changes that need to happen in order to avoid an attack of such brazenness and sophistication. There is no intelligence gathering, no infrastructure to coordinate intelligence, no disaster preparedness, insufficient patrolling of the coasts, gang influences that run deep in the police and the politicians, an inability to run effective investigations, the list is endless.
All that being said, how does one deal with the lawlessness in Pakistan? If we assume that the Pakistani establishment did not have anything to do with this, we are still left with the conclusion that terror groups can function with impunity and in broad daylight in Pakistan’s major cities and just sneak across the border to attack, either in Afghanistan or in India.
The US is bombing the crap out of the Pak-Afghan border, but the terrorists are in the cities and towns, can’t really bomb away. India needs to seriously tighten its borders, and cannot rely on Pakistan’s situation improving any time soon.