Mumbai Deadly Attacks: Possible Reasons!

by Barrister Harun ur Rashid | November 28, 2008 2:08 am

Mumbai (Bombay) has not been immune from terrorist attacks. But the terrorist attacks on Wednesday 26th November late evening surpassed all other attacks in their intensity, scale coordination and execution. The attacks occurred in ten places one after another including three posh hotels.

The attacks began around 9-30 PM. They also attacked the headquarters of the Orthodox Jewish Group Chabad-Lubavitch and took Rabbi and others as hostages.

It has not been clear how many militants were involved. 101 people were killed and 314 at least were injured. Reports indicate that foreigners were targeted during the attacks.

Police say that six attackers were killed and nine were captured a day after when commandos released many hostages but many more are being held till the time of writing. It has shown that all terrorist attacks cannot be prevented.

Although Deccan Mujeheddin claimed responsibility, Indian intelligence says it is a red-herring. It has used a fictitious name to cover the real culprits.

All global leaders including Bangladesh leaders have condemned the brazen attacks. Even Pakistan Foreign Minister who was on a visit to India assured fullest cooperation in finding out the identity of terrorists and suggested a hotline between the top intelligence agencies of the two countries.

26/11 is India’s 9/11. Some say when terrorists targeted the luxury hotels, they were attacking symbol of wealth and privilege of India’s global ties and power.

The terrorists attempted to disrupt the frenzy rhythm of daily life in Mumbai, the financial and film capital, populated by 14 million people. It is a port from where exports and imports are conducted.

Large industrial companies, such as, Reliance, Tata and a raft of state-owned firms like Air India and State Bank of India have headquarters in the city.

Indian leaders may analyse why is India victim of terrorist attacks? Some analysts in the region describe some of the reasons and they are described in the following:

First, the Kashmir dispute has been a magnet for militants from inside and outside. It has become a focal point of Islamic militants because they want to liberate Muslim majority Kashmiris from Indian rule.

Second, the increasing influence of India on Afghanistan and support of the Karzai government irks many Islamic militants and they are not comfortable with it.

Third, India’s increasing ties with Israel on defence and security tend to annoy many Islamic militants. Close ties between India and Israel is perceived as anti-Palestinian by many militants.

Fourth, the recent US-India nuclear deal has also put India strategically aligned with the US which is waging two wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. India is not seen no more as non-aligned

Islamic militants want to see India weak and not globally powerful. The attack on India’s commercial capital is deliberately chosen. The terror attacks may have adverse impact on foreign investment in India. They think they have punctured holes in Indian security defences.

India is a largest democracy in the world. It should not be cowed down by terrorists. However many suggest that Indian political leaders may have to consider coolly the reasons of such attacks.

Many suggest that India can achieve its goal as a regional and global power if India resolves some of the root causes of tensions created in the region. India may consider in initiating serious talks to resolve the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. On Afghanistan, India may bring Iran, China, and Pakistan to stabilize the situation. India must be seen not too closely aligned with the US.

Mumbai Deadly Attacks: Possible Reasons!
By Barrister Harun ur Rashid
Former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.

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