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A man who said he belonged to a new Al Qaeda chapter in the disputed northern province of Kashmir telephoned a local news agency to congratulate the perpetrators.

The call was received around 12:15 p.m. local time by Current News Service, an agency based in Srinagar, the capital of the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, which often receives calls and statements from anti-Indian militant groups operating in the area.

The head of the agency, Abdur Rashid Rahi, said in an interview later in the day that the caller identified himself as Abu al-Hadid, spoke in polished Urdu and invited Indian Muslims to join the holy war. He did not claim responsibility for the Mumbai bombings.

If it is confirmed, the call would signify that Al Qaeda had a presence in India for the first time. India is home to some 140 million Muslims, about as many as Pakistan and more than any other nation except Indonesia. Mumbai, also known as Bombay, is the nation’s financial capital, and it is home to a substantial Muslim minority.

Pakistan er svært hårsåre for kritikk over at de gjør for lite for å stanse terrorister. I stedet for å slå ned på ekstremistene blir regjeringen opprørt over at noen tør å si offentlig hva alle vet.

Mention of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has been banned in pakistan but continues to operate through several front names and groups, touched off a diplomatic fracas. Foreign Minister Kurshid Mehmood Kasuri of Pakistan expressed anger at Indian suggestions of Pakistani responsibility for the bombings.

«There should not be a knee-jerk reaction that everything happening in India starts in Pakistan,» Mr. Kasuri said in an interview with CNN.

Earlier on Wednesday, the spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry, Navtej Sarna, had pointedly called on Pakistan to rein in terrorist organizations operating on Pakistani soil. His comments followed a suggestion by Mr. Kasuri, barely a day after the Mumbai bombings, that India had not done enough to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Mr. Sarna called Mr. Kasuri’s comments appalling.

New York Times