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Perils in Parallels

By Shakeel Syed,

Calling Mumbai tragedy, an “India’s 9/11” is parallel to the chatter of Texan cowboy. Indian Babus, I believe, ought to be smarter than that. 9/11 lexicon is now proven to be perilous.

The ashes in Mumbai raise more questions than the number of dead from several countries. It was an international tragedy. The Indian Government is partly responsible for its sorrowful state of intelligence and law enforcement.

A reading of the western press, gives the impression that India is about to bomb Pakistan, home to the “Islamic Bomb.” While reading the Indian press, one finds that there are many sane Indians who are questioning the lethargy of Indian Government and challenging the fundamentalist Hindutva leadership. The former is still trying to figure out who to blame and the latter wants to rush and unleash the “Hindu Bomb.”

We must not forget that a recent train bombing being assigned to “Pakistani agents” was indeed the work of a serving Indian army officer and his comrades.

Indian and Pakistani border guards at Wagah border [Photo by Garima]

Bomb talk is dumb. Bombing Afghanistan was dumb. Bombing Iraq was dumber. The Mumbai tragedy merits a thorough investigation followed by a thoughtful analysis, in that order. The people in India and around the world have learnt much since the bomb talk of Cheney & Bush, also in that order.

As an Indian by birth and having watched the “investigations” of all sorts while growing up, I say that the current Mumbai “investigation” is a farce at its best. And as an American now, I am equally comfortable to say that I do not trust America, the State.

The sane Indians and Pakistanis must urgently and immediately demand the following:

1. That, the Pakistanis must demand of the Pakistani Government to ask the United Nations to convene an Investigation Task Force comprised of its nation members but excluding the countries such as Israel, Britain and the United States – parties with direct interests in India and the region.
2. That, the Indians must demand of the Indian Government to give unfettered access to the United Nations Investigation Task Force to complete its full, independent and impartial investigation of the tragedy.
3. That, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Americans and all people of good conscience should call upon United Nations to play its role and not merely remain as a spectator.

It is time to act for all people, not just Indians or Pakistanis. In allowing the Indian discourse of 9/11 parallels is perilous for all people.

Shakeel Syed is the Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council and a social justice activist and resides in California and can be reached at [email protected].