Archive for the ‘Islamic militants’ Category

Attacks push India and Pakistan into deep water: analysts

November 30, 2008

Outrage in India over the Mumbai attacks risks sparking a dangerous escalation in tensions with Pakistan, analysts say, even as Islamabad cautions against any knee-jerk reaction.

Having accused “elements in Pakistan” of involvement in the ruthless attacks that left 195 dead in India’s financial capital, the government here is now under extreme public pressure to exact some form of visible retribution.

The two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals are past masters of the art of military and diplomatic brinkmanship, but the stakes are heightened by looming general elections in India in which national security will be a key issue.

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed that the perpetrators and organisers of the Mumbai assault would be made to pay “a heavy price.”

By Elizabeth Roche, AFP

Smoke billows from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on November ... 
Smoke billows from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on November 29, 2008. Outrage in India over the Mumbai attacks risks sparking a dangerous escalation in tensions with Pakistan, analysts say, even as Islamabad cautions against any knee-jerk reaction.(AFP/Pedro Ugarte)

On Saturday, Singh called a meeting of India’s army, navy and air force chiefs.

But while India would like to lean heavily on Islamabad to ensure it delivers on repeated promises to prevent Pakistani territory being used for anti-India activities, analysts say the government’s options are limited.

Former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra said New Delhi would be constrained by a lack of proof that Islamabad had any direct role in the attacks.

“There is little to suggest that the gunmen were sponsored by the Pakistani government,” Mishra said.

The scale and style of the assaults — involving multiple targets and hostage-taking — bore “the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda attacks in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mishra said.

“These are new elements that differentiate the Mumbai attacks from the parliament attack.”

In 2001, gunmen from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group attacked the Indian parliament, resulting in the complete rupture of diplomatic ties and pushing the rivals to the brink of war.

Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal all but ruled out the possibility of India resorting to any cross-border military response.

“The Indian leadership would have to weigh very carefully the consequences of using the military option in the wider context of peace and stability in the region,” Sibal said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appealed for calm on Saturday and argued that any increase in Indo-Pakistan tensions would be a victory for the extremists.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081
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Mumbai Violence Clouds India’s Economic Future

November 29, 2008

The terrorist siege in southern Mumbai, not far from its financial district, is likely to threaten India’s already murky economic future and thwart plans to transform the city into a regional financial center, economists and investors said.
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By HEATHER TIMMONS and KEITH BRADSHER
The New York Times
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India’s economy had already been slowing significantly, because of the global credit crunch and the rupee’s decline. The country’s leading stock market index, the Sensex, has been cut in half since January as foreign investors redirected billions of dollars out of the country. Real estate markets around the country are cooling off.

Now foreign investors and business executives, who fueled much of India’s blistering growth over the past three years, are expected to be even more cautious about investing in India, at least in the short run, analysts said. Local companies and executives, who have already put the brakes on growth projections, could revise them further.

“Of course there will be some setbacks” related to the attacks, said Hitesh Kuvelkar, associate director at First Global, a financial research firm. Even before the attacks, First Global predicted that India’s economic growth could slow to about 6 percent in 2009 and less than 4 percent in 2010.

An Indian soldier holds positions outside the Taj Mahal hotel ...
An Indian soldier holds positions outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. Indian commandos have killed the last remaining gunmen in Mumbai’s Taj hotel to end a devastating attack by Islamic militants on India’s financial capital that left 195 dead, including 26 foreigners.(AFP/Sajjad Hussain)

The attacks, which left more than 150 people dead by Friday evening, made targets of foreigners, witnesses said. The heavily armed terrorists were able to bypass security at two of India’s most expensive hotels, and it has taken India’s military several days to quell the violence, raising questions about safety in even the most exclusive locations.

It may be some time before the hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and the Oberoi, once regular haunts for executives, become deal-making hubs again. “I would not feel comfortable either staying in or going to meetings at the Taj or the Oberoi, at least in the near future,” said Joel Perlman, the president of Copal Partners, a research company.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/world/asia/29impact.html?_r=1&hp

Pakistan: Militants kill 8 tribal elders

January 7, 2008
By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer 

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Suspected Islamic militants fatally shot eight tribal leaders involved in efforts to broker a cease-fire between security forces and insurgents in Pakistan‘s volatile northwest, authorities said Monday.

The men were killed in separate attacks late Sunday and early Monday in South Waziristan, a mountainous region close to Afghanistan where al-Qaida and Taliban militants are known to operate, a security official and the military said in a statement.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080107/ap_on_re_as/
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