U.S. should help India take action

December 17, 2008 — by Ben Clement and Gautham Ganesan

The recent Mumbai bombings have brought long-harbored feelings of animosity between India and Pakistan back into the spotlight, compounding the fear of another clash between the two nuclear powers.

The attack, which occurred on Nov. 26, consisted of Islamic terrorists bombing and raiding several different locations around the city, killing, according to the New York Times, nearly 200 individuals, wounding roughly 300 and taking a number of hostages. The attack was performed with devastating efficiency and spanned nearly two days until Indian authorities managed to regain control of Mumbai. The testimony of captive Azam Amir Oasab confirmed conjecture that the attackers were trained by a Pakistani militant group originally formed by Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, to fight Indian influence in the Kashmir region.

The mere fact that such a large-scale act of terrorism was successfully carried out on Indian soil and unable to be stopped, or at least inhibited, by the Pakistani government is unconscionable. But Pakistan’s refusal to hand over suspected members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist organization allegedly responsible for the attack when the country itself claims to have detained at least 15 members of the organization reeks of ulterior motives on the part of Pakistan.

Despite the United States’ long-held status as an ally of Pakistan, it is imperative that America does what is morally right and takes India’s side on this issue, and increase international diplomatic pressure should Pakistan continue to deny India vital information regarding the identity of the suspected terrorists. After waging war on Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks, America hindering any attempt by India to defend its homeland in response to this crisis would be hypocritical.

With Pakistan having pledged to sever all ties with militant groups following 9/11, the government’s blatant lack of cooperation with international goals to seek out those responsible for the attacks is particularly despicable. This alone should be grounds for the U.S. to aid Indian diplomatic efforts, but Pakistan’s recent outright refusal to hand over suspects after agreeing to India’s ultimatum stipulating their obligation to cements the fact that India needs to take action and the U.S. should provide what help it can.

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