Lahore, Mumbai terror attacks are 'classic' ISI-backed 'Fedayin assaults'

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London/Lahore, Mar.4 (ANI): The attacks on Mumbai (November 26, 2008) and Lahore (March 3, 2009) should be seen as classic "Fedayin" assaults - suicidal rather suicide - taught in Lashkar's training camps by ISI officers, The Times says in an analysis.

What Pakistan experienced in Lahore on Tuesday was a backlash, deepening the sense of crisis confronting a flailing civilian Government, the paper adds.

That the target was a moving convoy of visiting sportsmen underlines how far Pakistan has veered towards becoming a failed state.

The fact that the country's Interior Minister Rehman Malik had to declare that Pakistan is "in a state of war", is in itself a message to the international community that all is not well on the Indian subcontinent.

As thousands of police continue to comb Lahore for the gunmen involved in the attack, security officials are coming out with evidence that the attackers were planning a Mumbai-style siege on a more spectacular scale.

According to the paper, counter-terrorist officials fear that other groups might try to copy Tuesday's tactics.

Pakistani officials have already suggested that the attack bore the hallmark of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group believed responsible for the Mumbai siege.

The escape of the attackers, melting into the Pakistani city least hospitable to Islamist extremism, will raise fresh and disturbing questions about their links to the security and intelligence services.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is one of several militant groups created by Pakistan's powerful Inter Services Intelligence to battle Indian rule in Kashmir.

After the devastating bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last year, foreign business have fled and blast barriers have sprung up around hotels and embassies, leaving few significant targets for terrorists to strike.

Diplomats are hunkered down in their fortified compounds, and travel by armored car - as the gunmen who peppered a senior American diplomat's vehicle in Peshawar found when she escaped unharmed.

In their minibus, relying on police escorts, the Sri Lankan cricket team was the softest target that could be found.

The gunmen clearly went in prepared to die but their ability to escape suggests more skill, control and official connivance than any suicide mission.

The gunmen are undoubtedly the product of the kind of training camps that the United States-led coalition has sought to eradicate in Afghanistan, but which have merely relocated to Pakistan's tribal border areas.

By bowing to the demands for Sharia in the Swat Valley, the Government in Islamabad has merely shrunken its writ, rather than extending it to the Pashtun badlands.

The Government's task is evident if Pakistan is to be rescued - for its own sake and the safety of the world beyond its borders.

Security experts say the conditions for the attack are unlikely to be replicated in the developed world. (ANI)

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