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They were jihadi terrorists

A respected UK newspaper’s recent headline says: Pakistan holds militants wanted by India. It avoids the word ‘terrorist’ as if the ten Pakistani men in Mumbai did not terrorise the city for three days and nights when they killed hundreds and injured scores of people.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2008 23:25 IST

They were jihadi terrorists

A respected UK newspaper’s recent headline says: Pakistan holds militants wanted by India. It avoids the word ‘terrorist’ as if the ten Pakistani men in Mumbai did not terrorise the city for three days and nights when they killed hundreds and injured scores of people. Terrorism as defined by Wikipedia is: “violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals.” It adds: “Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or terror, are perpetrated for an ideological goal and deliberately target or utterly disregard the safety of non-combatants.” The so-called ‘militants’ mentioned by the newspaper are jihadi terrorists who directed and/or acted in mass killings of innocents in Mumbai to highlight their religious cause. The ‘militants’ were not any different in their ideology from those who terrorised the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Were the men behind 9/11 only ‘militants’? It’s time that the West knows what is what.

Shantu Shah, Oregon

Arms and the humour

Apropos of Anuvrat Arya’s letter Don’t just ban, break them (December 15) where he wants the West and India to ensure that the supply of arms to terrorists is stopped, I wish if only it were as simple as he suggests. After the US invasion of Iraq, there was a joke doing the rounds in the US: “Of course we know they have weapons of mass destruction. We have the receipts!”

Ritu Khanna, via email

Clarity begins at home

Apropos of the report Darul snubs Pak demand (December 15), Dar-ul- Uloom’s refusal to comply with Pakistan’s plea, following the global outrage against the Mumbai carnage, to issue a fatwa against the jihadi terrorists operating from Pakistan is intriguing. Pan-Islamism inspired terrorism that is endangering the civilised world today can be crushed only by using military means and by way of invoking the wrath of God against those indulging in mayhem in the name of God. Instead of themselves engaging in pan-Islamic rhetoric over Afghanistan and Iraq, the clerics would do well to worry about their own backyard where Pakistan-trained zealots are waging a proxy war against India.

Lalit Ambardar, Delhi

Push for tough measures

Apropos of the report India to get own FBI, tough terror laws (December 16), the proposal to set up the National Investigating Agency (NIA) is a welcome step. For a long time now, the police have been severely handicapped on account of political interference. If the new investigating agency is not affected by local influences, not only will it be impartial, but will also be able to work faster. Also, it is important that all anti-terrorist agencies are not only armed with the latest weapons but also get the best training. There is an imminent need to maximise the push for these measures while the sentiment to pursue the fight against terrorism is strong.

Milind Kher, via email

Singh is the finance king

Apropos of N Chandra Mohan’s article Do we really need a new FM? (December 16), the Finance Minister must be a man of capability. After Chidambaram the next best person is the Prime Minister himself. Manmohan Singh has headed the Ministry before and he has proved his mettle in the past and that is exactly why he should not allot the portfolio to anybody else. The world economy is witnessing turbulence and, therefore, needs a capable decision-maker like Dr Singh who is best suited to restore the required balance and stability in the markets.

Yashi Vikram, Delhi