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'India blaming ISI for 7/11 due to Oppn pressure'

'India blaming ISI for 7/11 due to Oppn pressure'

india Updated: Jul 20, 2006 13:13 IST

Adding their voice to the debate over the growing uncertainty about India-Pakistan relations, media and analysts in Pakistan have alleged that the Indian leadership, particularly Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is "coming under political pressures" of the opposition parties.

Analyst Naseem Zehra, writing in The News, alleges that the foreign secretary-level talks were called off the moment it became known that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was travelling to Mumbai.

India is also accused of ignoring internal forces, including the interplay of terrorist organisations of different hues, while pointing fingers at Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) involvement.

Although the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is a home grown body with strong base in Maharashtra, its role, too, is blamed on Pakistan, Zehra said.

After initially saying that India was blaming the ISI for its "past" role of fomenting trouble, amounting to an admission that the ISI was involved at least in the past, the Pakistani media has since streamlined its line of arguments.

According to an editorial in The News, the Indian media "pounced upon" Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri for reportedly linking Mumbai blasts with the unresolved Kashmir dispute.

Both the government and the media in Pakistan have taken the view that "a terrorist is a terrorist" with no nationality or religion and they want India to take a larger view and not fall prey to the terrorist machinations.

The Nation said in an editorial: "It should not take a genius to understand that if anybody is happy owing to the developing situation, it is neither New Delhi nor Islamabad, but the terrorists that planned and subsequently conducted the barbaric attack."

Defence analyst Ikram Sehgal, writing in The News, notes that President Pervez Musharraf was the prime target of the Indian and the western media.

That this campaign "also puts Pakistan on the defensive as a terrorist-ridden state (if not a sponsor) is more than a coincidence. Whoever thought up the Mumbai blasts did not have mayhem in mind for India's economic capital only; Pakistan's image in the world was a target."

Sehgal asks, "Is it also a coincidence that The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly and Time ran articles attacking Musharraf and Pakistan, in that order, before the Mumbai blasts? Is it also a coincidence that they seem to have spared Shaukat Aziz, our prime candidate either to succeed Musharraf or become Asia's dark horse for the post of UN secretary-general?"

That Aziz could succeed Musharraf is pure speculation, while his name figured only briefly in speculation about the post of UN secretary general to counter the candidature of India's Shashi Tharoor.