Pak media condemns Mumbai attacks

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Islamabad, Nov 28: Pakistani print media on Friday, Nov 28 splashed stories about coordinated attacks on luxury hotels, including Taj and Oberoi in the Indian financial capital, Mumbai, which has so far claimed over 100 lives. Editorials in leading English and Urdu local dailies called for a collective approach by Pakistan and India to jointly curb the menace of terrorism and militancy, which did not recognise borders.

''Wednesday's terrorist attacks in Mumbai should be condemned in the strongest terms as the loss of more than a hundred lives and injuries to many more is as despicable an act as is humanly conceivable in any circumstances,'' Dawn newspaper said in its editorial.

It said the dare-devil approach and the capture of city landmarks also indicated how well entrenched the militants have become over the years. ''It is ironical that the attacks came in the wake of the two-day talks between the home secretaries of Pakistan and India in Islamabad earlier in the week where cooperation in fighting terrorism was discussed.'' ''Detente between the two neighbours does have the potential to curb the menace because militancy does not recognise borders and it is only logical to challenge it through a joint endeavour,'' the paper said.

It added that the latest serial blasts in Mumbai also represent an immediate test for the resolve of the two sides not to indulge in a blame game every time something goes wrong on either side.

It is, therefore, a move in the right direction that within hours of the incident on Wednesday evening, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attacks in no uncertain terms, it said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his televised addresse to the Nation yesterday, said the group which carried out these attacks was based outside the country and had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country.

The paper said the two countries should cooperate in the investigations to make them productive and facilitate effective measures for domestic security while promoting bilateral understanding between them.

Another local daily, The News also took up the allegation issue, saying the accusations came not only from within India but from international media channels too.

''The suspicion has been raised and Pakistan's past track record on terrorism mean they may well stick. The awful reality of our time is that Pakistan has become the world's centre of terrorism; attacks staged around the world, whether in the US or Europe or India, seem to link up with players within the country,'' the paper observed.

Our northern areas have become a favourite refuge for men such as Britain's suspected militant Rashid Rauf, recently killed in a US drone strike, and for others who favour violence. From our cities, from our towns, we are accused of exporting terror around the world, acting as a source of weapons, knowhow and moral support.

The paper called for beating back extremist elements and urging the US and other powers to help Pakistan in this efforts.

''We must show true zeal, commitment and purpose. There is no alternative. For otherwise, the anger directed against in the aftermath of what happened at Mumbai will grow stronger and assume the form of a ferocious storm we may not be able to withstand.'' UNI XC SLD PK HT1418

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