…are part of their war on India
The Hizbul Mujahideen is a terrorist conglomerate headquartered in Pakistan but with a wide network in Jammu & Kashmir. It is generally believed to restrict the scope of its operations to the state. Speaking from Islamabad, the HM spokesman denounced attacks on civilians as outrageous and asserted that his organisation would neither carry out nor countenance such attacks. He didn’t clarify whether his comments were restricted to the bombings in Mumbai or included the ones in Srinagar on the same day.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba is a terrorist conglomerate headquartered in Pakistan with an increasingly widening international network. Its broad stated agenda—establishment of an Islamic caliphate—gives the ISI abundant room to carry out a variety of operations under the ‘plausible deniability’ it provides. The ISI’s deniability is all the more plausible when the Lashkar-e-Taiba itself denies its involvement in any of those operations. Like, as is now suspected, in the attack on Mumbai.
Pakistan’s Daily Times which largely endorses Khurshid Kasuri’s statements explains that Pakistan’s jihadi outfits could not have been involved because they have denied it.
Mumbai terrorism must be seen in context: Islamabad has roundly and swiftly condemned the blasts. Local Islamist groups like Hezb-ul Mujahideen and Jamaat ud Dawa have refused to take responsibility for them. This is interesting since the whole idea behind mounting a terrorist attack is to propagate a cause on the one hand and spread terror on the other. This means that a group which employs terror to advance a political cause must wear its actions like a badge of honour instead of keeping them secret. [DT]
The Daily Times’ analysis is simplistic. Contrary to ‘al-Qaeda’ attacks in the Middle East and West, in all the recent terrorist attacks in Ayodhya, Benares, New Delhi and Bombay, the objective was the same—to trigger off an avalanche of communal riots, which would not only multiply the damage manifold but also muddy the waters to such an extent that the terrorists themselves would largely escape blame for setting the ball rolling. This is the real context. And in this context, the jihadis’ explicit denial—especially the Lashkar’s—points to their culpability. For communal riots are far more likely in a dark atmosphere of doubt, suspicion and wild rumours than in the clarity following a celebratory videotape. In the ISI-jihadi grand strategy of attempting to defeat India by setting Indians against each other, denials and disclaimers are merely tactics.
Update: Now, ‘al-Qaeda’s’ Jammu & Kashmir representative calls in to express his happiness at the attacks. Either an opportunist or another attempt at creating confusion.