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Most Pakistanis mum on 26/11 anniversary

By Rezaul H Laskar
November 26, 2009 16:50 IST
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A year after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 180 people, most Pakistanis have little or nothing to say about the carnage that shook India. Leading newspapers were silent on the tragedy and so were Pakistanis who are active in the virtual world.

Except for an odd comment on social networking website Facebook, most Pakistanis were unusually quiet. "Remembering the victims of 26/11," read a comment by journalist Mehmal Sarfraz on her homepage. Though the comment was welcomed by her Indian friends, her fellow citizens were not exactly happy. "With all due respect, so many more people die in our own country every day. How many people remember the victims of Peshawar? That has been burning much more and much worse than Mumbai did. For a minute I think people need to stop blowing 26/11 out of proportion. How is it that we don't pay as much tribute to the victims of the war against militancy in Pakistan," commented Qudsia Aziz Rana.

Rana's comment seemed to sum up the mood of most Pakistanis, who do not want India to blame their country for the attacks. "Stop blaming Pakistan for every attack! If few people are bad that doesn't mean the whole country is bad! It is not that Pakistan is supporting terrorism. Pakistan is also a victim of it." reads a post by
Mujtaba Husain, the creator of "Pakistan against Terrorism" group.

Not a word on the Mumbai attacks was posted by cyber-buffs active in the blogosphere. Popular web magazines Pakteahouse and Pakistaniat did not have any posts dedicated to Mumbai's victims. There was, however, a post about the 'Indian hand' in Pakistan. " A near consensus has been reached by all the major political parties in Pakistan, except the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, that India is aiding the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan," said a post on a popular blog.

Not long ago, a local TV channel did a spoof interview with Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested by Indian authorities for the Mumbai attacks. In the spoof, Kasab shows up in the studios with an AK-47, shoots staffers and aims his gun at the anchor too. He is shown wearing a red thread on his wrist and speaks with a Hyderabadi accent, all of which the anchor contends shows that he is not Pakistani'! Islamabad has acknowledged in a dossier handed over to New Delhi that the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Tayiba carried out the Mumbai attacks.

An anti-terror court in Rawalpindi yesterday indicted seven suspects, including LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for planning and helping execute the attacks. All the accused pleaded not guilty.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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