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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Mumbai Terroist Attacks

VZCZCXRO2838
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #1241/01 3361048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011048Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7839
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0959
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 9978
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2479
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 8739
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1878
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 0340
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 1586
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0347
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 0988

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DHAKA 001241

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/PB
STATE FOR SCA/PPD, PA/RRU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: MUMBAI TERROIST ATTACKS

1. Summary and Comment: Mainstream English and Bangla-language
newspapers across the political and religious spectrum condemned the
Mumbai terrorist attacks. Editorials generally focused on two
issues. First, most editorials called on India to refrain from
blaming neighboring countries before completing a thorough
investigation. Many editorials noted that following previous
terrorist attacks, the Indian government and media were quick to
blame Islamic terrorists based in Pakistan or Bangladesh.
Generally, however, following an investigation, the Indians
concluded that domestic non-Islamic groups were actually responsible
for some of these attacks and not foreigners. Second, many media
outlets called for regional action to effectively combat terrorism
in South Asia. Regional coordination could create a platform for
South Asian countries to better combat terrorist activities. End
summary and comment.

2. A selection of media reaction follows:

A. "REGIONAL UNITY AGAINST TERRORISM," an editorial in the November
29 anti-West-leaning Bangla daily INQILAB:

"Many compare the Mumbai attack to 9/11.... India has been the
victim of terrorist attacks from time to time. In most instances, a
domestic or home grown terrorist organization claims responsibility.
Still, the government blames neighboring countries. Soon after the
Mumbai attack, an Indian terrorist group named 'Deccan Mujahideen'
claimed responsibility. Despite this claim, the Indian PM stated
that no neighboring country would be forgiven. The editorial writer
said that people should refrain from blaming neighbors on the basis
of only speculation or a grudge. If they do, the main culprits can
escape. As all countries in this region are victims of terrorism,
engaging in this sort of blame game might hamper the economic
development of South Asia instead ending terrorist activities.
Mutual cooperation and coordination are needed to curb terrorism in
this region.... India and other South Asian countries must be
cautious against international plots to destroy the prospect of
economic development in India and the region as a result of domestic
terrorism and poor relations between neighbors."

B. "ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK IN MUMBAI," another editorial in the
November 28 anti-West Bangla daily INQILAB:

"Whoever is responsible for this attack, even if they are Muslims,
should be immediately identified and brought to justice. Special
attention should be given in the area so that stereotypes,
speculation or baseless suspicion does not influence the legal
process... India also should find out who the real culprits behind
this attack are and identify the 'modus operandi' of this attack."

C. "THIS ATTACK IS AGAINST HUMANITY," editorial in the November 28
pro-Jamaat Bangla daily NAYA DIGANTA:

"It has been reported that the Deccan Mujahideen claimed
responsibility for the attacks. We have seen in the past that
captured terrorists often blame other groups in order to deflect
attention away from the real culprits. In India, the authorities
frequently classify attacks as 'Islamic terrorism' and blame Muslim
groups. But Islam and terrorism are totally contradictory. Islam
is a religion of peace. There is no place for terrorism in Islam,
and Islam condemns terrorism severely. In the Malegaon terrorist
incident on September 29, efforts were made to blame Muslims.
Later, it was discovered during the investigation that a Hindu
extremist group was involved. A colonel working in the Indian Army
supplied explosives to that group. Most astonishing is that the
person who discovered the truth, Hemant Karkare, the head of the
Anti-terrorist Squad, was killed in the latest Mumbai attack. The
mystery behind this should be solved."

D. "UNITED EFFORTS NEEDED TO CURB TERRORISM," editorial in the
November 28 pro-BNP Bangla daily AMAR DESH:

"For the past several months, India has been a regular target for
terrorist attacks. In the past, the Indians instantly blamed the
Pakistan intelligence agency, ISI. Recently, the Indian media has
also accused Bangladeshis of engaging in terrorist activities. We
have consistently asked India not to blame others without evidence.
Instead, coordination among South Asian nations is required to
eliminate the root of terrorism. It should also be kept in mind
that the terrorist activities are not one-dimensional but
multi-dimensional. The Maharashtra police probe reveals that an
extremist Hindu organization, Avinaba Bharat, is directly involved

DHAKA 00001241 002 OF 003


in many terrorist attacks in India. In Assam, Boro separatists are
responsible for violence. The degree that Delhi's policy makers are
responsible for increased terrorist activities should also be
examined. Our position is that terrorism has no ethnic or religious
identity. "

E. "NO MORE BONFIRE OF CIVILIZATIONS," editorial in the November 28
anti-fundamentalist and pro-Awami League Bangla daily SHAMOKAL:

"In terms of planning and implementation, the Mumbai violence can
only be compared to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The
magnitude of this violence seems incredible but the question arises
after every violent act: Why is there no effective security system?
This violence will not achieve political or any other goals but the
terrorists are desperate. Terrorism breeds suspicion and mistrust
among the states. The terrorists must be defeated in every corner
and be isolated from the society and state."

F. "DANGEROUS TERRORIST ATTACK IN THE CITY OF MUMBAI," an editorial
in the November 28 pro-Awami League SANGBAD editorial:

"The Mumbai attack is another reminder that united efforts by South
Asian countries against terrorism are essential. Without eliminating
terrorism, democratic political systems and the lives of the people
are not safe."

G. "TERRORIST ATTACK IN MUMBAI," editorial in the November 29
anti-fundamentalist and pro-Awami League Bangla daily JANAKANTHA:

"Around the world people do not support terrorism. We also do not
support it. So terrorism cannot be a part of a democratic
environment... If terrorism cannot be controlled, the democratic
political system and peace are not safe. All countries in this
region should urgently adopt a joint work plan to control
terrorism."

H. "TERRORIST ATTACK IN MUMBAI: WE CONDEMN THIS DEVILISH ATTACK,"
an editorial in the November 29 neutral Bangla daily PROTHOM ALO:

"It is known that British and American citizens were the prime
targets of this terrorist attack. The immensity of the attack and
the death of a few high ranking officials have attached
international significance to this incident... The ghastliness and
novelty of this attack damage the peace of mind and feeling of
security of all people in South Asia. It is not yet clear who is
behind this attack. There are many possible sources of terrorism in
India. In addition to Islamist militant activities, there are Hindu
extremist groups as well.... Apart from that, separatists are also
active in many states. At the same time, the activities of foreign
agencies are also not above suspicion in the backdrop of post 9/11
international terrorist networks. All quarters should abstain from
blaming each other without sufficient evidence. A proper
investigation to discover the identity of the perpetrators and their
collaborators is vital for this region as well as the rest of the
world."

I. "MUMBAI SIEGE CONTINUES: INDO-PAK INTELLIGENCE TO COOPERATE"
editorial in the November 29 neutral English daily THE DAILY STAR:

"We believe that this is the first sign of a constructive engagement
between Pakistan and India, which sharply contrasts with the pattern
of accusation and denial the two countries pursued in the past. We
hope this time around the call for cooperation will be seen and
utilized in earnest by both countries to fight a common enemy --
terrorism....

We hope the latest terrorist attack in Mumbai has left governments
in other South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, wiser than
before, as we have witnessed the manifestation of many home-grown
terrorist outfits in the region. Pakistan is paying a heavy price
today for not having acted early against its home-grown militant
groups. We said yesterday and we say it again that Bangladesh
should not suffer from the illusion that it is immune to such
terrorist attacks.... Politicians from the two major parties must
work together to fight the menace without ever using them to
materialize their selfish interests, regardless of the outcome of
the coming election. We have to be preemptive in dealing with the
armed militants without giving them the opportunity to strike
first."

J. "THE CARNAGE IN MUMBAI," another editorial in the November 28

DHAKA 00001241 003 OF 003


neutral English daily THE DAILY STAR:

"The fact that the attacks have been so coordinated and so easily
carried out clearly raises the fear that not only India and Pakistan
but the region as a whole is now in a state of severe
vulnerability.... It has been a sad day not only for Indians but
also for people across the world and especially for us in South
Asia.... On a bigger scale, South Asian stability is at stake."

K. "WE CONDEMN THIS NASTIEST TERRORIST ATTACK ON MUMBAI," an
editorial in the November 29 pro-U.S. Bangla daily ITTEFAQ:

"We severely condemn this attack against humanity. The attackers
who rushed to kill innocent and helpless people with modern arms,
whatever the reasons behind their anger, cannot receive the support
of peace-loving people of this world. The people of this world will
also have to understand that an eye for an eye will not resolve
political problems. We must learn why the attackers are ready to
sacrifice their lives. We think that world leaders need to consider
things in a new light."

L. "WE MOURN THE DEAD OF MUMBAI," an editorial in the November 28
left-leaning English newspaper NEW AGE:

"It is also important to note that India's terrorism problem, as
with anywhere else, is not exclusively a law and order issue, and
the government may fail if it seeks to contain it with more
sophisticated weapons and more draconian laws. In fact, political
establishments across South Asia, including Bangladesh, find
themselves in a similar dilemma, struggling to contain the
increasing incidence of bombings and attacks from radicalized
groups. Such terrorist attacks, as explained by many respected
political scientists, are often violent reactions to longstanding
neglect of certain political, economic and ideological grievances
endured by the dominated sections of the population."

M. "MUMBAI CARNAGE; PERPETRATORS MUST BE PUNISHED," and editorial
in the November 28 pro-U.S. English daily THE INDEPENDENT:

"Criminal minds work in an archaic way and they fail to appreciate
the basic law that human life is the most precious gift of all in
this world. The whole world stands united in its firm resolve to
fight hand in hand to bring to an end once and for all the evil
forces of terrorism. The perpetrators of the latest Mumbai attack
must be brought to justice."

PASI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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