|Pakistan’s press has urged India to stop blaming its neighbour over the Mumbai attack [AFP]|
The attacks in Mumbai have attracted saturation coverage in the world media.
While the unfolding drama in India’s financial capital dominates newspaper pages, editorial writers across continents have found consensus in pouring scorn over the attackers and voicing their indignation.
A round-up of reaction in the world’s media:
The Indian Express – City by the sea
No other city in India is confronted by its own legend with as much verve and as brutal honesty as Mumbai has been. Now a bunch of individuals, of still unknown affiliation but clearly possessed of clockwork innovation, has alerted this country yet again that to strike at its cities and its commerce is to threaten the idea of India.
But through all this, the challenge is to our politics. This is a defining moment. The Mumbai attack renders petty and pointless the discourse on terrorism that has thickened the electoral air. Politics has to rise to the occasion, because it is only through a saner politics that India will defeat the challenge posed to its globalised, growing potential.
A saner, more engaged politics is also the only way for this country to constructively ask itself what it can do better to keep its people and its aspirations safe.
The Times of India – It’s war
This nation is under attack. The scale, intensity and level of orchestration of terror attacks in Mumbai put one thing beyond doubt: India is effectively at war and it has deadly enemies in its midst.
Ten places in south Mumbai were struck in quick succession.
To tackle terror in India it is urgently necessary to stabilise Pakistan and Bangladesh. And, India should seek international help now to upgrade its own security apparatus, but also to stabilise the entire region stretching from Afghanistan to Bangladesh.
There is no time to waste.
Dawn – Mumbai blasts
It is ironical that the attacks came in the wake of the two-day talks between the home secretaries of Pakistan and India in Islamabad earlier in the week where co-operation in fighting terrorism came under discussion.
Détente between the two neighbours does have the potential to curb the menace because militancy does not recognise borders and it is only logical to challenge it through a joint endeavour.
But for the moment the focus will obviously be on how the two countries manage the fallout of the Mumbai blasts.
Without apportioning blame on each other they should co-operate in the investigations to make them productive and facilitate effective measures for domestic security in the two countries while promoting bilateral understanding between them.
The Frontier Post – The Bombay holocaust
It is unfortunate that Manmohan Singh has raised his finger at Pakistan for the Bombay holocaust, without even waiting for the findings of the investigation panel he himself has set up to probe this reprehensible terrorist assault.
And that too when only the other day the two countries’ interior secretaries decided in their Islamabad meeting not to blame each other’s country for terrorist acts without substantive evidence.
He should have waited for his panel’s report. But he did not, replicating his Congress party’s mainstream rival BJP, which his own party president Sonia Gandhi had recently berated in a party meeting for accusing Pakistan of every terrorist act in India impetuously, not on some concrete evidence’s basis.
The regret is that Singh’s accusation will leave the real culprits go laughing all the way.
The Washington Post – Blood in Mumbai
At present, the attacks have not led to an outbreak of Hindu-Muslim violence in other parts of India. Politicians, who are often quick to react to such incidents, have been remarkably discreet. Muslims and Hindus have condemned the attacks without indulging in a blame game.
Even more remarkable, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the leader of the opposition, K Advani of the BJP, have agreed to set aside their differences to visit Mumbai together to comfort those who lost relatives in the carnage. The victims include senior officers of the Mumbai police.
This single gesture by Singh and Advani will go a long way toward reassuring a dazed and nervous India that the political establishment can still be trusted to rise above partisan passion.
The New York Times – India’s suspicion of Pakistan clouds US strategy in region
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai occurred as India and Pakistan, two big, hostile and nuclear-armed nations, were delicately moving toward improved relations with the encouragement of the United States and in particular the incoming Obama administration.
Those steps could quickly be derailed, with deep consequences for the United States, if India finds Pakistani fingerprints on the well-planned operation. India has raised suspicions.
Pakistan has vehemently denied them. But no matter who turns out to be responsible for the Mumbai attacks, their scale and the choice of international targets will make the agenda of the new American administration harder.
The Daily Star – The carnage in Mumbai
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.
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.
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.
New Age – We mourn the dead of Mumbai
Today, our deepest condolences go out to the dead and injured in Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in India’s financial capital Mumbai, even as we strongly condemn those responsible for these horrible acts.
In recent times India has been confronted with a spate of shootings and bombings which have targeted civilians and public places, with the May bombings that killed over 60 people in the city of Jaipur still fresh on the mind. Similar attacks took place in Ahmedabad and New Delhi as well.
As such, there is a need for New Delhi to recognise that these are not isolated incidents though the perpetrators of each attack may have belonged to disparate politico-ideological spheres.
Side by side, it is also important to note that India’s terrorism problem, as with anywhere else, is not exclusively a law and order issue, and the government may likely fail if it seeks to contain it with more sophisticated weapons and more draconian laws.
The Times – Massacre in Bombay
Depravity and barbarism have made a sickeningly familiar return in Bombay. The co-ordinated viciousness, the targeting of a crowded station, popular restaurant and two hotels and the firebombing of a cultural monument have horrified an entire sub-continent. Terrorism has struck at the heart of the world’s largest democracy.
This is a time for India’s friends not only to share its grief, but to bolster its leaders’ resolve and steady their response. The atrocity in Bombay threatens to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims in India; between India and its neighbour, Pakistan; and between the people of the sub-continent and the West.
All of this would be to take revenge against precisely the wrong people for what is a terrorist act. The people to blame here, and the only people to blame, are the terrorists.
The Guardian – Pointing the finger at Pakistan
Though such charges may yet be proved to have merit – the use of grenades and machine gun fire bear the hallmark of Pakistani based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba [who have now denied involvement], the Indian government would do well to move to not succumb to internal pressure from the BJP and instead move cautiously.
The attacks came amid talks between the two countries’ home departments, and strengthening cooperation in fighting terror were discussed, and the two countries decided together to stop blaming each other for tit-for-tat attacks.
Finally, it is worth bearing in mind that whatever rhetoric the Pakistani government may be emitting, the possibility that rogue elements within the ISI acting on their own will cannot at this stage be precluded.
If this turns out to be the case, the Indian government should go public with their evidence, instead of pointing the finger then not producing the goods (as was the case with the Indian embassy in Kabul bombing).