26/11 anniversary: Pakistan slammed in London and Washington for sponsoring terror
Protests were held in the United Kingdom and in the United States slamming Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, including several foreigners. A team of 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, trained and supported by the Pakistan army, attacked several high-profile targets and held India’s financial capital hostage for three days in 2008.
In London, a 400-strong contingent of the Indian diaspora marched to the Pakistani High Commission on Tuesday evening and demanded action against the perpetrators including mastermind Hafiz Saeed, who according to the Indian agencies, carries out anti-India operations with covert state support in Pakistan.
Washington saw minorities from Pakistan’s Mohajir community—Muslims who went to Pakistan after partition-- protest against Islamabad’s use of terror as a state policy and demand action against the 26/11 plotters.
The protestors in London had placards and posters hitting out at Pakistan providing safe haven to terrorists and frustrating efforts to prosecute the culprits of 26/11 attacks.
“Pakistan is responsible for terrorism in the world,” read one poster, while another called Pakistan “the nest of terrorism”. The crowd outside the Pak High Commission chanted, “Shame, shame Pakistan, Pakistan is terroristan (home of terror)”.
“We are here against terrorism because it’s been going on and on… We are here to show solidarity to the victims and pay tribute to the martyrs,” said one woman.
“Today is 26/11, so we are remembering Mumbai attacks and all terrorism emanating from Pakistan, be it Pulwama or anywhere else in the world,” said another protestor.
In Washington, the US chapter of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a party of Mohajirs founded in 1984 by Altaf Hussain, participated in the protests and slammed Islamabad for the 26/11 attacks. “We can never forget 11/26,” shouted protestors. They also demanded freedom for Balochistan from Pakistan’s control.
A series of coordinated shooting and bombing in Mumbai hotels, hospitals, passenger hubs, places of worship and streets had stunned the world 11 years ago on November 26.
India submitted a dossier of evidence against the perpetrators including Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Sufayan Zafar—all living in Pakistan-- but Islamabad has only taken token action while covertly harboring and supporting them, says Indian government.
The protests in London and Washington coincided with the United States saying it was committed to bringing the terrorists responsible to justice. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “an affront” to the victims and their families that the 26/11 actors had still not been convicted. Six Americans had also died in the attack.