Nation Must Cooperate to Prevent Attacks

Dear Editor,

On Nov. 26 there were ghastly acts of terror committed in Mumbai, India’s financial capital. The ordeal lasted 60 hours and killed at least 183 people, causing an immeasurable amount of damage to life and property, not to mention the tremendous emotional toll it took on the city, and certainly the nation as a whole. By their actions, it is clear that these terrorists have no morals or remorse for their crimes. Numerous witness reports have come in, recounting how the terrorists killed mercilessly with smiles across their faces. In one instance, one of the terrorists is said to have killed a child simply so that he would stop crying. While it is easy to fly into a rage over what has happened (indeed, it would seem to be the most expected reaction), it is important to remember that these attacks cannot be blamed on the Islamic religion or the Pakistani government. With that said, there are some rogue elements within the Pakistani government, specifically the Inter-Service Intelligence that funds and promotes these terror camps. Fault can be found in the fact that the Pakistani government was aware of these terror camps yet took no substantial actions to shut them down. Furthermore, the terrorist known as Dawood Ibrahim, who is responsible for the 1993 Mumbai Stock Exchange bombings, which took over 1,000 lives, is reported to be residing in Pakistan, but the government has refused to investigate these allegations. To promote a complete eradication of terrorism requires the Pakistani government’s full cooperation.

The Indian government is not blameless in this matter, though. The government’s reaction time was severely delayed due to an inefficient bureaucracy and infrastructure. It took four hours for the commandos to get from Delhi to Mumbai, the excuse being that planes were unavailable for transport. Mumbai’s police force was not equipped to deal with an attack of this magnitude, with many of the officers lacking bulletproof vests. In fact, the owner of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Ratan Tata, alerted the government that he had intelligence indicating that an attack of this nature was imminent. Security forces were present at the front door, however entrances as obvious as the back door were left unguarded. This illustrates a lack of the basic security that any nation as developed as India is expected to have. It is clear that a major overhaul in national security is needed.

India and Pakistan share many cultural origins. They speak many of the same languages, eat much of the same food and listen to very similar music. All problems arise when poverty, desperation and religious extremist are added to the equation. This creates a group of people willing to kill and die in the blink of an eye, all in the name of some perverted version of an otherwise beautiful and peaceful religion. These acts are condemned by both nations, and it’s time the governments set aside their petty differences and work together to create a tangible solution to this mounting problem.

— Amand Srivastava
John Muir College senior