12/10/2008, 00.00
INDIA – PAKISTAN
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Mumbai terrorists all Pakistani, Indian Muslims condemn them

Indian police identify attackers as tensions with Islamabad remain high. Pakistan does not make public charges against extremists it arrested. Mumbai Muslims condemn the attacks, refuse to bury attackers.
New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The 10-men group that carried out the Mumbai attacks that killed at least 172 people and wounded another 300 were all Pakistani, Indian authorities said. Meanwhile Mumbai Muslims condemn the attackers and terrorism

Mumbai police Chief Rakesh Maria yesterday said that Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, the only terrorist who was captured alive, gave some of the attackers’ names and place of origin.

A US newspaper quoted Mumbai Police Deputy Commissioner Deven Bharti as saying that the ten men were part of a commando trained for such actions and that another 20 are ready to act against India.

India has blamed Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the attacks and has reproached Islamabad for not cracking down on the group despite outlawing it in 2001. 

In recent days Pakistan arrested 16 extremists, including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, considered LeT’s director of operations, but this has not eased tensions between the two countries which remain high.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday stated that his country did not want war with India. He said however that Pakistan was “fully prepared in case war is imposed on us,” adding that those arrested would be tried in Pakistan.

However, charges against the men have not yet been made public. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani today said only that they had been “detained for investigation.”

Not many experts believe that Pakistan will take any systematic action against LeT because of the possible protests that might generate in the country.

Questions are also being raised about Islamabad’s intention vis-à-vis the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, which has thousands of followers, runs more than a hundred schools and is widely believed to have bankrolled Lashkar-e-Taiba.

For the United States, LeT is a terrorist group and India has called on the United Nations to put in on its terrorist list.

In India local Muslims have firmly condemned the Mumbai attacks.

In Mumbai the Bada Kabrastan Muslim cemetery has refused to bury the dead terrorists. The city’s other Muslim cemeteries have refused as well.

“The ideology of the terrorists is inconsistent with the tenets of Islam,” said Mr Tai, president of the Muslim Council Trust. For him the gunmen “aren't Muslims and don't deserve a burial in Muslim graveyards.”

Meanwhile demonstrations against terrorism have taken place (pictured).

India’s population of 1.15 billion people includes about 150 million Muslims, who are largely marginalised.

Some 52 per cent of Muslim men and 91 per cent of Muslim women are unemployed. Almost half of Muslims over the age of 46 are illiterate and Muslims also account for 40 per cent of India's prison population.

Significantly though, no ethnic or religious incident has taken place in retaliation for the attack.

Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, director of Markaz-ul-Ma'arif, a local madrassa in Jogeshwari, a Mumbai suburb inhabited largely by Muslims, pointed out that at least ten Hindu extremists were arrested last month for rigging bombs on motorbikes that tore through a crowd of Muslim worshippers in the western town of Malegaon.

“People now understand that no single religion has a monopoly over terrorism,” Mr Qasmi said.

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