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Pakistanis go online to show solidarity with India
December 03, 2008 15:17 IST
With anti-India talk shows being beamed regularly on Pakistani channels, anti-India blogs clocking hits in cyberspace and open letters to Indians getting several columns in newspapers, a newly formed Pakistani web group to condemn the Mumbai attacks has come as a breath of fresh air.
"All Pakistanis condemn Mumbai attacks," a group on social networking website Facebook, has already registered 1,803 members from across the globe to counter an earlier group called "India stop blaming Pakistan for terror in India", which at last count had 952 members.
Muhammad Riaz, a 30-something blogger, quoted a surah (verse) from the Quran to condemn the attacks "if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole humanity and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the whole of the humanity."
Another Facebooker, Farrukh Mehboob Khan, wondered why Pakistan could not have shown a more visibly sympathetic response to the Mumbai massacres?
"Why do we have to be so aggressive all the time? Why couldn't we send (the Inter-Services Intelligence chief) if India had requested for his presence in the investigations? We should have extended all possible cooperation in this regard if we have no skeletons in the cupboard. If my reports about the current (ISI chief) are correct, he is a highly capable officer who should have been able to hold his ground. We should have sent a team of experts to help him and the Indians in their investigation. But no, we had to act like the protagonist of a cheap Punjabi movie who thunders and makes inexplicable gestures towards the enemy," Khan wrote.
Hasan Siddiqui, a Pakistani who lives in the United Arab Emirates, joined the group to condemn the Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 200 and injured hundreds and wrote that both Pakistan and India should not let terrorists defeat them.
Maham Muneeb Khan, who lives in New York, blamed it all on the US."I think that what the British tried to do a long time ago during the Mughal period, that's exactly what the Americans are trying to do once again," he wrote in an open letter to Indians" Bombay, India and Pakistan" posted on Pak Tea House, an e-magazine, was published in The News daily on Wednesday.
Yasser Latif Hamdani, the author and a lawyer based in Islamabad [Images], has received his share of bouquets and brickbats from Pakistanis.
"As a Pakistani myself, I regret to say that your write-up is more reactionary than factual and it lacks depth. Whether the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was involved in Mumbai attacks or not, there is no denying that they are blossoming in our country and have their training camps. They could be as much a threat to us as to others," a blogger known as Kuku1 wrote in response to Hamdani's post."Pakistan can use this incident to their advantage by cleaning out such groups with or without help from outside. Thus we can not only clear our name but can also provide an example for others in the Islamic world to weed out radicals who are trying to hijack our great religion and are increasingly isolating us from the rest of the world," the blog said.
An Indian who identified herself as "simply61" said she found Hamdani's post shallow. "Rest assured our dream in India is not to annihilate Pakistanwe just want terror export (by whoever it is within Pakistan) to stop. "The same terror that Pakistan has nurtured on its soil is in fact eating away at Pakistan itself," she wrote.
Leading English newspapers have been carrying editorials and opinion pieces almost every day since the attacks in Mumbai on November 26, with most of them dismissing Indian allegations about a Pakistani link to the terrorist strike and blaming Indian elements.
Television channels have been beaming talk shows in the aftermath of the attacks, often inviting the same guests and experts, to mouth anti-India rhetoric.