OPINION

Pakistani Embassy on Mumbai attacks

We are disappointed to read today’s Kathimerini front-page editorial, titled «Global and local terrorism.» We regret to state that contrary to the paper’s outstanding news coverage, sufficient research has not been carried out before attempting an editorial on a sensitive issue concerning the subcontinent. Unfortunately, baseless allegations have been leveled against Pakistan in this editorial. No official of even the Government of India, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has raised an accusing finger at our country. Neither the Government of Pakistan, nor any of its organs, is responsible for this tragedy in Mumbai. It is incomprehensible how the editorial has held the Kashmiris culpable for this wanton violence. The tragedy is not over yet and investigation is still at its infancy. However, we need to know that there are over 20 secessionist movements, left-wing extremist groups and home-grown Jihadi militants, not to speak of the disaffected minorities, who are striving for the redressal of their grievances against the Indian state. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani have condemned the Mumbai violence. Mr Zardari has also offered condolences to the Indian leadership, including the President, Prime Minister and the Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has assured full cooperation in the investigation of this reprehensible crime. Additionally, Prime Minister Gilani has agreed to send the Chief of ISI to India for exchange of information about the Mumbai attacks at the request of Prime Minister Singh. In all these initiatives, we sent a clear, unequivocal message, condemning terrorism, expressing our sincere condolences, and showing our solidarity with the victims of this mayhem. It is important to bear in mind that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism – since 1979, when the Soviet army marched into Afghanistan. No country and the multinational force, including the US, NATO, ISAF and the Afghan national army has lost more men in action during the ongoing campaign against terrorism than Pakistan. We have suffered the worst consequences of the war on terror, debilitating our economy and endangering our national security. This war is not American. It is our war. We are fighting it in the defense of Pakistan, the region and the world at large. Your readership knows that Kashmir dispute is a lingering source of tension in the subcontinent. Peace, stability and harmony will remain elusive as long as this dispute remains unresolved. It is neither a real estate issue nor a territorial dispute. Kashmiris are struggling to acquire their inalienable right to self-determination, as promised to them by India, Pakistan and the UN. The good news is that both Pakistan and India are negotiating the final settlement of Kashmir in their bilateral composite dialogue. Democracy and human rights cannot end on the borders of Kashmir. We would deeply appreciate if you would kindly publish this clarification in appropriate columns – preferably in the same editorial space – of your esteemed newspaper. Shah Faisal Kakar / Head of Chancery Pakistani Embassy in Athens Editor replies: The commentary stated clearly and repeatedly that it is still too early to know who was behind the attacks.