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July 14, 2010

Good News...India Officially Accuses Pakistan Of Plotting And Executing 2008 Mumbai Attack

Nothing good will come of this.

The remark comes a day before the foreign ministers of the rival nations are set to meet in Islamabad to attempt to rebuild a fragile peace dialogue that was shattered by the attacks, which killed 166 people. It appeared to be an attempt to ratchet up the pressure on Pakistan to prosecute people whom India says were deeply involved in the assault.

In an interview published Wednesday, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai accused Pakistan's powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence of playing a key role the attacks.

"It was not just a peripheral role. They (the agency) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end," Pillai told the Indian Express newspaper.

Pillai told the newspaper that new information about the role of the agency had emerged from the interrogation of David Coleman Headley, an American who pleaded guilty in the U.S. in March to being in on the planning of the attacks. He was subsequently questioned by Indian investigators.

The day before meetings aimed at easing tensions exacerbated by this attack seems an odd time for India to publicly accuse Pakistan of conducting what amounts to an act of war (Tom Ricks wonders if they are effectively at war now). Unless of course there are elements of the Indian government not all that interested in playing nice and pretending all is well. And who could blame them? No country can let an attack like that go by (and this isn't the first time India has blamed Pakistan for a spectacular terror attack).

As an extra bonus (as if two nuclear armed states with a long history of war isn't enough)...there's obviously going to be an impact on the US, which tries to walk the line between the two.

As Josh Trevino asks..."When exactly are we going to face up to the reality that Pakistan is an enemy state?"

Obviously the problem is we need Pakistani help in Afghanistan but India is an emerging power with over a billion people. Balancing those three relationships (US-PAK, US-India, US-PAK-India) is difficult at the best of times and it hasn't been the best of times in awhile. Now things are worse.

Just yesterday/today (hard to tell with the time difference) the US Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke was talking this subject up.

"India has a very real role in the region for historic and strategic reasons," the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan said Tuesday briefing reporters on July 20-21 Kabul Conference aimed at bringing about an eventual political solution for the war-torn nation.

"And they can play an important role in resolving these issues, going down the - looking forward into the middle distance," he said.

But it was for New Delhi to decide "who will represent India and how that will be done," said Holbrooke, who met the Indian ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, to brief her about his recent trip to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

...

Asked about the upcoming meeting of Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers in Islamabad, Holbrooke said, "Anything that reduces tensions and increases confidence and understanding between Pakistan and India is something we would encourage and support.

Um, what's Plan B?

Don't worry though, we're in the best of hands.


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posted by DrewM. at 01:50 PM

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