Pakistan Strengthens Response To Mumbai Attacks
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
This is Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
MONTAGNE: Pakistan's president published an article in today's New York Times. He says the terror attack also harmed Pakistan and its peace process with India. So now we will put that big question to NPR's Philip Reeves. He's covering this story from India's capital, New Delhi. And Philip, does India think that Pakistan is doing enough?
PHILIP REEVES: They're also going to want firm proof that the people who were arrested in that raid, in particular a guy called Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who's alleged to be a senior commander of the group Lashkar-e-Taiba - which is being accused of carrying out these attacks - that he's in custody and that he's going to stay there. They feel that the Pakistanis have in the past carried out arrests and then later freed people.
: What else does India want out of Pakistan?
REEVES: Well, it has formally renewed, actually, a longstanding request that the Pakistani authorities hand over about 20 people who are wanted for serious offenses in India. These include Dawood Ibrahim. The Indians say he's the mastermind of a multiple bombing attack in Mumbai in 1993. Again, the Indians are saying that this was a formal request, but the Pakistanis haven't responded to it. However, they are reading reports in the press that say that Pakistan won't be complying with this demand because there's no extradition treaty between India and Pakistan. So this issue will continue to be a source of friction, I'm sure.
: So we have Pakistan and India arguing amongst themselves and also before a key player, the United States, with this article in the New York Times by Pakistan's president, you're saying. India is dissatisfied with Pakistan's moves. Does that lead to the possibility, Philip, that India could take some kind of military action on its own against what it sees as a security threat across the border?
REEVES: However, the Indians are unlikely to be in any doubt that if they do this, there's a risk that the Pakistanis will redirect their forces towards the perceived Indian threat and away from the battle against the Taliban in the northwest. And that would expose India to possible accusations of undermining the international and, of course, the American efforts to win the war in Afghanistan.
: In this opinion article, Philip, Pakistan's president seems to be concerned that the Indian public is going to pressure India's government into some kind of rash action. How much pressure is there?
REEVES: Congress is often accused by its political opponents of being soft on terrorism. However, these results suggest that people voted on local and economic issues and not in a panic or in anger about the Mumbai attacks. So that may mean that the pressure on the government to do something militarily isn't as considerable as some have portrayed it.
: Philip, thanks.
REEVES: You're welcome.
: NPR's Philip Reeves is in New Delhi covering one of the major stories this morning. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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