The carnage in Mumbai
We strongly condemn the terror attacks that have left Mumbai reeling. This attack, vicious in its nature and with wide-ranging ramifications, has brought home to all of us in South Asia the lesson that a serious, purposeful and united effort toward combating the terrorist menace is now necessary. Indeed, the series of attacks that have occurred in India in recent months, together with the violent attack on the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's Islamabad, were broad hints of how wide the network of terror was getting to be. With the Taj and Oberoi hotels in Mumbai (as well as other spots) now coming under attack, it is clear that terrorism is now no more a national but a broad regional menace. It is now anyone's guess as to where terrorism will strike next. But what is clear is that no one is safe and at this point it is for all South Asian nations to come together to combat the threat. At the same time, people everywhere must condemn the atrocity perpetrated in Mumbai. After having been claimed responsibility by the so-called Deccan Mujahideen, it is especially for Muslims everywhere, seeing that such atrocities are being perpetrated in their names, to condemn the killings loudly and make it clear that their faith abjures violence of all kinds.
The ramifications of the attacks, carried out in military precision by men coming in from the sea, and literally too, can easily be imagined. Those who perpetrated the attacks have clearly gone much farther than those who have in recent times been targeting people across the country. The fact that the attacks have been so coordinated and so easily carried out clearly raises the fear that not only India and Pakistan but the region as a whole is now in a state of severe vulnerability. In fact, the attacks have now introduced a strong feeling that unless drastic measures are taken to handle such terrorist acts on a regional basis, instability could become a real factor in South Asia and so leave societies open to depredations of the kind that have left Mumbai reeling. As we write, there are a large number of hostages still in the terrorists' hand and violence is still continuing as the terrorists continue to wreck havoc. We sincerely hope that no human life will be lost before the terrorists are captured.
It has been a sad day not only for the Indians but for people across the world as well and especially for us in South Asia. At this moment of trial what is important is the need to identify and apprehend the culprits. On a bigger scale, it is South Asian stability, which is at stake.
Our condolences go out to the families of the dead and injured.