26/11: ‘I felt ashamed…’ wrote this Pakistan daily reporter on tragedy’s 4th anniversary
New Delhi, Nov 26: Monday, November 26, 2018, marked the 10th anniversary of the horrendous terror attack in India's financial capital Mumbai by 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists who entered the city through the sea route and carried out coordinated attacks that continued for three days and killed 166 people and injured over 300. Some of the targets of the perpetrators included the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Leopold Café and others. The deceased also included foreign nationals making the incident earn headlines worldwide.
The relations between India and Pakistan have remained sour over the matter with the former accusing its neighbour of not doing enough to bring the masterminds of the terror act to justice.
How did the Pakistani media respond to the attack, even years after it happened?
A piece came out in the country's leading daily Dawn titled 'How 26/11 changed us' on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy in 2012 and it was penned by Faiza Mirza. In the piece, Mirza did not hide her shock over the terror attack. She wrote: "Although, I know for a fact that a major chunk of Pakistanis do not intend any harm to Indians, I was still appalled to find that Pakistanis were behind the attacks - an attack which paralysed Mumbai for 60 hours. I truly felt ashamed, knowing that a group of my fellow countrymen were responsible for an act of such massive destruction with complete disregard to precious human lives. Never had I felt such emotions of disgust and embarrassment. Primarily because some of the militants hailed from Pakistan, however, I must assure you that they did not represent the sentiments of true Pakistanis who bear no ill-will against Indians, Americans or innocent citizens of any other country."
She made a particular mention of Moshe Holtzberg, a two-year-old then who lost his young parents in the tragedy and became an orphan. A picture of the Jewish infant crying and screaming "Ima, Ima" (mother in Hebrew) on the day of the funeral of his parents is something that continued to haunt her.
Mirza criticised the militants' ply of indoctrinating youths and push them towards the destructive activities of killing innocent people. "It is a fact that militant factions recruit and brainwash impressionable minds and then use them as pawns to kill innocent people. Most people are shown golden dreams of being granted a palatial mansion in heaven for persecuting Indians, Jews, Christians, Muslim minorities and other non-Muslims. What remains unfathomable is how can manslaughter of innocent men, women and children help anyone to achieve a heights of piety? God created life to be appreciated. Most of us know that such fundamentalist groups only serve one God called "money and power" and I truly feel sorry for the youth that falls for their devious traps as they hail from poor backgrounds and do not have enough awareness," she wrote.