December 01, 2008

India Lodges Formal Protest with Pakistan

The government of India has lodged a formal protest with the government of Pakistan over the Mumbai terrorist attack:

Pakistan's High Commissioner was summoned and handed an official protest against Pakistan's alleged failure to crack down on terrorist groups within its country.

The Indian Government says the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were carried out by elements from Pakistan, and it expects the Pakistani Government to take strong action against those responsible.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma says the attacks are a grave setback to the relationship between the two nations.

But the Pakistani Government has denied any direct involvement in the terrorist strike.

Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Youssuf Rasa Gilani is urging calm, and says the blame game should be avoided at all costs.

— Source: Australian Broadcasting Company

This "let's not play the blame game" and the denial of direct government involvement in the attack seems a rather insufficient response on the part of Pakistan. It is worse if there was involvement between the terrorists and the Pakistani government, to be sure, but even if there is not, this doesn't excuse Pakistan's failure to clean up it's own house. The ISI certainly had a hand in breeding monsters in the past and the likelihood seems great that this latest batch of fundamentalist militants is at the very least a by-product of those past entanglements.

Pakistan has been, at least nominally, an ally to the United States in The War Against Terror (try the acronym from that one for size), and so its government has been aware of the use of Pakistan as an extremist breeding ground for some time now. They should have acted long ago to change the situation. They did not, and that is, indeed, their own fault.

That being said, a war in the region is unlikely to eliminate the terrorism and very likely to foster more of it. A destabilized Pakistan losing control of, or using, nuclear weapons is clearly in the best interests of no civilized segment of humanity, either. Pakistan should accept culpability in this and, as the brief description of the complaint given above notes, should take the strongest possible action on the most immediate terms possible to insure that they no longer serve as the launch pad for horrors visited upon people who are trying to do nothing more than live their lives.

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