Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday said that India will keep the global spotlight “firmly” on cross-border terrorism against the country, in an apparent reference to Pakistan on the anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“Will keep the global spotlight firmly on the menace of cross-border terrorism against India,” he tweeted. “And on the epicentre of global terrorism.”
The external affairs minister also lauded the security forces and paid homage to those killed in the Mumbai terror attacks. “12 years since the horrific 26/11 #MumbaiTerrorAttacks,” he said. “Pay my homage to its victims. Applaud the courage of our security forces, who continue to defend our nation so resolutely.”
On November 26, 2008, ten terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Taiba took a sea route from Pakistan to Mumbai and carried out a dozen coordinated shooting and bombing attacks at various major landmarks across the city. Over 160 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the attacks that lasted four days, and required the National Security Guards and the Anti-Terrorist Squad to intervene.
In November 2012, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the terror attack, was hanged to death in Yerawada Jail in Pune. India has been continuously pressing Pakistan to punish those involved in the attacks, according to PTI. However, the trial of the accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, has made little progress so far.
After the attacks, India has consistently highlighted the threat of cross-border terrorism and Pakistan’s role in sheltering and providing support to various terror groups.
Pakistan has been facing increasing global pressure to curb terrorism. In October, global anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force voted to keep Pakistan on its “grey list” for the Imran Khan-led government’s failure to fully comply with a 27-point action plan.
Pakistan must bring perpetrators of attacks to justice: Consul General to New York
India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal said that Pakistan must bring perpetrators of the 2018 Mumbai attacks to justice, reported PTI. Paying homage to those who were killed in the strike, Jaiswal emphasised that fighting terrorism requires strong global cooperation.
“It is important for the world and the global community, for us and for justice that those responsible are brought to book,” he said at a virtual commemoration event. “Pakistan must do what is required to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.”
The event was organised by The American India Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee. Jaiswal said the strike was a “ghastly attack unknown in the annals of history”, adding that terrorism was one of the greatest threats in the world.
“As in the [time of] coronavirus, the world has come together to fight this pandemic, we must all come together to fight terrorism, a global problem, tooth and nail,’ the consul general said. “Let us remember on this occasion those who fell to the barbaric and bloody bullets of insanity and inhumanity. And those who sacrificed life to save our tomorrow, to save our today.”
Acting Consul General of Israel in New York Israel Nitzan, who also attended the event, said that his country was shocked by the attacks. Referring to India, Israel and the United States, Nitzan said the three countries know what terrorism is all about. The objective of the attack in Mumbai, as well as attacks in New York and Israel, is to cripple the economy, society and its vivid and wonderful culture, he said.
“And they (terrorists) failed,” said the Israeli consul general. “The attack is also a lesson about our resiliency, that we will not allow terrorism to break us. Despite the devastating results of this attack, the Indian economy has continued to grow stronger, its society is resilient, its culture remains invincible, and the relations with Israel grows stronger.”
He also spoke about the Chabad House, which was also targeted during the 2008 attacks. “The attack on the Chabad House, like other anti-semitic attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions around the world, will not prevail,” Nitzan said. “They will fail and terrorism will only push us to unite and to fight together against terrorism and hatred.”
India’s Deputy Consul General Shatrughna Sinha said the perpetrators of this ghastly attack are still roaming free even after 12 years. “Acts of terror not only violate the right of life of the individual who suffers these attacks,” he said. “There are families whose rights are also violated. Unfortunately, victims of the attacks are also suffering today because their right to get justice has also been violated.”
American India Public Affairs Committee president Jagdish Sewhani said Pakistan was now more isolated than it was ever. He expressed confidence that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will continue to stand with India in the fight against terrorism.