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February 2002 issue of
World Press Review
(VOL. 49, No. 2)
Near Boiling Point
Outraged by the
recent suicide attack on Indias Parliament, India has
suggested it may consider military action if diplomatic efforts
to get Pakistan to crack down on the accused militant groupsLashkar-e-Taiba
and Jaish-e-Muhammadfail. Pakistans leader Gen.
Pervez Musharraf condemned the act immediately after it occurred
but denied accusations that Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence
agency was involved. For its part, Pakistan has offered to conduct
a joint investigation into the attack. But Indias President
Atal Behari Vajpayee is not interested; he cites the bullet-ridden
Parliament wall and the dead bodies of the assailants as evidence
enough. Fifteen people, including the five-person suicide squad,
were killed in the daredevil shooting at the seat of Indian
democracy on Dec. 13.
Meanwhile, the international community, especially the United
States, fearing a confrontation between these two nuclear powers,
continues to urge India to exercise restraint.
Media outlets throughout India have noted the hypocrisy of the
U.S.-led counterterrorism war, which purportedly is aimed at
terrorists and those who harbor them. Referring to the U.S.
reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks and Israels recent air
strikes against the Palestinian Authority, Sanjay Suri wrote
in Outlook (Dec. 24), Its not okay for India to
do what the Americans, Israelis, or British do without hesitation....What
shook India caused hardly a stir in Washington, though its
all supposedly a part of the same war.
Pakistani papers roundly denounced the attack as senseless.
But some argue that India is using it as an excuse for renewed
confrontation with its longtime rival. The Nation (Dec. 17)
wrote, [W]hoever is behind this misguided abortive attack...played
right into Indias hands. This was just the kind of excuse
it was waiting for.