British Pakistanis in Mumbai unlikely


by Sunny
28th November, 2008 at 11:06 pm    

It’s unlikely but not impossible. The front page of today’s Evening Standard loudly asserts that some of the terrorists were from Leeds and surrounding areas. Subsequent reports by the BBC say nothing has been confirmed.

At this point nothing is certain because there is a constant stream of conflicting reports from India. Media orgs there are jumping on anything anyone says, so take it with a bucket of salt. The Indian government pretty much makes it near impossible for British Pakistanis to get a visa there, whether on business or for pleasure. If Pakistanis want to travel, they not only have to register where they’re going to be staying but also have visas only for specific cities rather than the country. And even then, they’re watched by the police. I’m not even exaggerating. The only way a British Pakistani terrorist would have gotten to India is by smuggling on to a boat going from Karachi to Mumbai. This was advanced as a theory earlier but has now been withdrawn.
PS – Issam Ahmed has a good article on CIF on avoiding finger-pointing at Pakistan.


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    [...] Pickled Politics ” British Pakistanis in Mumbai unlikely [...]




  1. David T — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:40 pm  

    The Indie is claiming that the Chief Minister has claimed that it is so, but that no mention was made of it by the Prime Minister.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/arrested-mumbai-gunmen-of-british-descent-1039452.html

    I’m hearing that there is absolutely NOTHING from British sources indicating that this is the case.

    So I’m presently sceptical.

  2. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:47 pm  

    The Indian government pretty much makes it near impossible for British Pakistanis to get a visa there

    I might be missing something here. I certainly believe that it is difficult for a Pakistani to get an Indian visa… but a British Asian? How can the Indian government determine for sure that a British citizen is of Pakistani origin?

  3. Refresh — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:55 pm  

    Ravi, I believe the visa application requires the details of parents and grandparents, specifically whether they were Pakistani by birth. The application is submitted back to Dehli along with supporting documents including the British Passport. The procedure could take as long as 3 months. Enough to stop anyone of Pakistani heritage actually getting there.

  4. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 12:11 am  

    Refresh, it’s quite easy to avoid any reference to Pakistan origin on visa applications to the Indian High Commission. Firstly, on EU passports, there’s no reference to origin, only where you were born. Secondly, you’re right that the visa form requires one to state parents and grandparants, but anyone can put down a false name and address in India. None of this info is checked out.

    You can submit a visa application at 8am in the morning and get it back by 11am ! There’s no time to verefy any detail.

  5. Muhamad — on 29th November, 2008 at 12:56 am  

    Stop all the Pakistanis entering India! Jalde! Jalde!

  6. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:06 am  

    Muhamad, many Pakistani families have strong links with Indian muslims, as Partition split families apart. They come over from time to time and both countries don’t have a problem with this. If the link between the Mumbai carnage and Brits of Pakistan origin does transpires, there is speculation as to how they managed to get a visa.

  7. Leon — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:09 am  

    The Indian government pretty much makes it near impossible for British Pakistanis to get a visa there, whether on business or for pleasure.

    Had a conversation about this very fact this afternoon in the office, a colleague detailed him and three friends trying to go on holiday in India, two of them where refused Visas, both Brit born Pakistanis.

    The finger pointing is a convenient way of distracting from something you said last night on QTE. India’s lack of intelligence on attacks like these.

    Seems to me that that organise a plot as complex as this using multiple units in multiple locations would take time and planning. Some of that would mean them doing reccy on their targets; how come nothing suspicious was picked up in the months or even year or so before?

    What are the intelligence capabilities, internally, of the Indian government?

  8. Adnan — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:18 am  

    According to this article a dry run may’ve been attempted: http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/28/stories/2008112861921200.htm

  9. Refresh — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:24 am  

    ‘Stop all the Pakistanis entering India! Jalde! Jalde!’

    That line of thinking would be disastrous for the region.

  10. Refresh — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:34 am  
  11. Refresh — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:42 am  

    Parvinder, I suppose the honest don’t get to visit India.

  12. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 1:52 am  

    so true and tragic. it’s always the innocent who loose out in the end. My worse fear now is that an opposing fundamentalism will resurface on the back of these events. Modi has already started his rant at the PM for being ‘too soft with Pakistan’.
    Off to bed but will post on this very subject tomorrow.
    shaba ghar.

  13. fugstar — on 29th November, 2008 at 2:08 am  

    2. its very difficult and long winded. sad for gujratis who have lots of ancestral links.

    i saw the evenings standard headlining the britpak thing on the way to juma and my heart sank further.

  14. Sunny — on 29th November, 2008 at 3:23 am  

    Refresh – If you’re Muslim they’ll ask you to provide evidence that your parents are from India, simple as that.

  15. shariq — on 29th November, 2008 at 3:48 am  

    I guess this means I won’t be going to India anytime soon. I don’t think that limiting British Asians going to India is the solution because a whole lot of stuff can be smuggled without needing to go through proper routes. However right now, I can’t really blame them.

  16. Vikrant — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:31 am  

    umm Issam Ahmed’s article is sort of misleading. He claims that
    If this turns out to be the case, the Indian government should go public with their evidence, instead of pointing the finger then not producing the goods (as was the case with the Indian embassy in Kabul bombing).

    Well it was Afghans accusing the Pakistanis not Indians,
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/08/afghanistan.explosion/index.html and i remember reading in NYT sometime in July about Americans intercepting communication between ISI and the attackers of embassy!

    Other than that is the Visa thing for real? I’ve had an OCI for sometime now! Never realised India makes it soo hard for British Pakistanis!

  17. Vikrant — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:36 am  

    This was advanced as a theory earlier but has now been withdrawn.

    Apparently not. They did find an abandoned trawler full of armaments at Mumbai docks and according to Times of India it was apprently hijacked by the terrorists on the high seas! So the boat theory is still plausible.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Terrorists_may_have_hijacked_Porbander_fishing_boat/articleshow/3766632.cms

  18. Vikrant — on 29th November, 2008 at 8:05 am  

    An interesting blog post by an Indian Muslim lad:

    Last Standing Terrorist,

    I hope you get to read this letter at the gates of hell where your fellow murderers are awaiting for you. I would love to see the look at your face when you will be told that you are not a martyr as your valiantly claimed on the phone call but just a cowardly murderer who killed innocent people. Talking of phone calls, whom you were trying to fool by speaking in a Punjabi/Kashmiri accent while claiming to be from Hyderabad?

    It was not surprising to see you use the oldest trick in the world, religion as a justification of your dastardly acts. It was quite ironical to see a terrorist having just killed scores of innocent people wanting to promote his religion as a religion of refuge and safety. You actually caused much more harm to the religion you claim to profess than anyone else could ever do from outside. Don’t you see that the religion you claim to be fighting for does not has space for people like you? No wonder you were panicked at the recent congregation of Islamic clerics denouncing terrorism and accused them as sell-outs.

    As for your blabber about the injustice meted out to the Indian Muslim community, well listen – we don’t want you or any of your murderous fellow thugs talking on our behalf. Babri Masjid, Gujarat, Malegaon and Kashmir are not Indian Muslim problems – these are Indian problems. And we as a nation are capable enough of resolving these issues. We might fall on our way, make mistakes or have serious disagreements but we will find solutions as a nation.

    The idea of India is too strong for terrorists like you to have any impact. It has stood the test of time over centuries and has not only survived but progressed. We will overcome this crisis as well – together.

    Meanwhile, godspeed to hell to you and good riddance!

    Mohib Ahmad

    http://indianmuslims.in/a-letter-to-the-last-standing-terrorist/

    You cant just dismiss Pakistani involvement just yet!

  19. Refresh — on 29th November, 2008 at 10:45 am  

    Sunny

    ‘If you’re Muslim they’ll ask you to provide evidence that your parents are from India, simple as that.’

    Thanks. Does that then apply to any nationality?

    Vikrant, what is an OCI?

  20. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 10:56 am  

    While we should wait for firm evidence from the Indian police as to who organised this carnage, there have been lingering question regarding Pakistan’s willingness to deal with Islamists who have a history of attacking Indian targets. Publicly, post 9-11 and with the US breathing down their backs, the government under Musharaff and now Zadari didn’t really have any real choice but to move in on some of them. This may possibly have been sincere, especially as they have massive terrorist problems on their hands, but there are still quite powerful elements in the country, its intelligence Service and army, who have, since the breakup of Pakistan in 1971, wanted revenge on India. They remain untouched. The latter’s amazing economic rise, its close ties with the US especially with the US-India Nuclear deal coming to fruit a few months ago, as well as elections in Kashmir, may have triggered a response.

    The Pakistan Army’s decision to cross the Line of Control that triggered the Kargil War in 1999 is in the back of the minds of most Indians and also its refusal to close down the Muzaffarabad-based terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, most likely to have undertaken an operation like this one in Mumbai. Their aims are to re-establish Islamic rule in South Asia, India and China and are non-negotiable. This group has close links with elements of Pakistan’s Intelligence Services, the ISI, and continually use the genuine grievance of Indian Kashmiris to attack the Indian Army. A BBC correspondence based in Islamabad told us recently that despite the rhetoric of the authorities, plenty of madrasses continually extol its followers to Jihad.

    The Pakistan government, besieged by a violent Islamist insurgency in the tribal areas are either too weak or unwilling to confront the Islamists imbedded in a very powerful section of the state. The Mumbai assassins, using AK-47s, sub-machine guns and grenades were highly trained. There is no surprise then that the Indian media have started to point fingers, despite their own intelligence service found wanting. Gujarat Chief Minister and architect of the 2002 pogroms, Narendra Modi has already started to attack the PM for being too soft with Pakistan.

    The other and more lethal scenario is that the terrorists were home-grown. Evidence so far shows they had excellent knowledge of the city and the layout of the hotels, some have said even better than the hotel staff. It is therefore possible that they had support from some people in Mumbai. If true, then it begs belief that the likes of Modi and the Saffron Brigade who run the state, may use it as an excuse to whip up communal hatred. This is despite the fact that Indian Muslims tend to be more secular and progressive compared to Muslims of Islamic states, and they have taken strong stands against fanaticism in the past.

    There is shock and anger at this attack on secularism, ordinary Indians of all faiths and foreign guests. India will never be the same again.

  21. Ravi Naik — on 29th November, 2008 at 2:55 pm  

    There is shock and anger at this attack on secularism, ordinary Indians of all faiths and foreign guests. India will never be the same again.

    You underestimate Indian society – they are tough, having to endure poverty, social exclusion, and misery. Economically, tourism will suffer a bit, but things will get back to normal in a few months. I do not think that these attacks – as in the past – will make much of a difference.

    What I think is happening is that these psychopaths do not make any distinction between the West or India – except that India is a much cheaper and easier target.

    India has the worst of all worlds: it is getting richer and more westernised and has a security infrastructure of a Third World country, with inadequate funding and preparation to deal with these attacks, and no intelligence. In my view, those terrorists were outsourcing their victims.

  22. Vikrant — on 29th November, 2008 at 5:18 pm  

    Thanks. Does that then apply to any nationality?

    I believe its basically meant for Muslims of South Asian origins. India has specific clauses in its consitution which prevents anyone ever having held a Pakistani/Bangladeshi passport from getting Indian citizenship. One reason India has never allowed dual citizenships is because they fear that Pakistanis may also be able to gain Indian citizenship out of ancestral connections to India or something.

    An OCI is overseas citizenship of India which basically allows you to travel to the country without visa. You have to have held Indian passport at some point in your life though.

  23. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:01 pm  

    ‘I do not think that these attacks – as in the past – will make much of a difference.’

    Ravi, while I agree that most Indians will not let this incident stop them in any way going about their business, I sense things will be different from now on, how is any ones’ guess.

    In the past, there’s been bomb attacks on the railways, temples etc. One off’s, and they’re out of the news. This went on for nearly 4 days, in full glare of the world media because of westerners being caught up in it. The gunman were a bunch of highly trained mercenaries who were not interested in hostages but a high body count. What is shocking most of all is the number of places they were able to attack with impunity. They fought a small proxy war. Credit to the commandos, army and police who eventually brought it to an end, but the mourning has just begun, the funerals and horrific stories emerging of what happened on the spot.

    There is a clear Pakistani connection now, with the only surviving gunman revealed as coming from Faridkok in Pakistan Punjab, and possibly using Karachi as the port on route to Mumbai.

  24. douglas clark — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:14 pm  

    Parvinder,

    You are undoubtedly right in your analysis. But the problem is that this cannot be allowed to spiral out of control. It would be suicidal for India and Pakistan to face off over this. Pakistans’ government has said that it will do whatever is necessary to eliminate these elements in it’s society. Personally, I thought Pakistans’ Foreign Minister came across as an honest and straightforward friend to India.

    It is not a good idea for state or national level actors to pretend that this attack is sponsored by Pakistan, at least without completely convincing evidence that that is so.

    Hopefully this will not escalate. For it is probably just playing into the terrorists mission objectives.

  25. Parvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:35 pm  

    Douglas, I agree that the situation should not escalate with Pakistan. Nevertheless,
    my main argument is that, despite well meaning Pakistani officials’ wish to deal with terrorists, they and the Pakistani government is on a mission impossible. The genie of fundamentalism was fertilised by the ISI, clergy and army throughout the 80s through madrasses and Islamist fighters going into Kashmir to create havoc and play upon the genuine oppression of the Kashmiri people in the face of Indian human rights violations. This culminated in Benazir Bhutto recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The genie was let out and no one can control them, especially now that they have been joined by the Taliban and Al-qaeda in the tribal areas.

  26. billericaydicky — on 29th November, 2008 at 10:12 pm  

    Let the dust settle, I have friends from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and have lived in the last two. It will take a few days for everything to settle down and for things to become clear.

    As to visas, if someone was to be this organised I don’t think that a bit of dodgy paperwork would be beyond them, the Irish have been doing both things for years.

  27. digitalcntrl — on 30th November, 2008 at 2:08 am  

    An update on the situation…. I don’t see anything positive for Indo-Pakistani relations for the time being…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/30/mumbai-terror-attacks-india3

  28. douglas clark — on 30th November, 2008 at 9:17 am  

    Parvinder,

    I am trying to ‘talk you down’.

    It is pretty clear that some sections of Pakistani society do, indeed agree with it:

    The genie of fundamentalism was fertilised by the ISI, clergy and army throughout the 80s through madrasses and Islamist fighters going into Kashmir to create havoc and play upon the genuine oppression of the Kashmiri people in the face of Indian human rights violations. This culminated in Benazir Bhutto recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The genie was let out and no one can control them, especially now that they have been joined by the Taliban and Al-qaeda in the tribal areas.

    But you have to give them space to resolve that.

    No?

  29. MediaSheep — on 30th November, 2008 at 10:12 am  

    Parvinder

    “The genie of fundamentalism was fertilised by the ISI, clergy and army throughout the 80s through madrasses and Islamist fighters going into Kashmir to create havoc and play upon the genuine oppression of the Kashmiri people in the face of Indian human rights violations.”

    You have the wrong place. Rather it was Afghanistan in the 80s where the “fundamentalism” was developed to counter Soviet aggression. The govt of Zia ul Haq supported this ideaologically but it could never have got anywhere without massive CIA funding and training.

    What the US is now demanding others fix is a result of their own policy of supporting the most extreme elements in order to defeat the Soviets.

    This culminated in Benazir Bhutto recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The genie was let out and no one can control them, especially now that they have been joined by the Taliban and Al-qaeda in the tribal areas.”

  30. douglas clark — on 30th November, 2008 at 12:09 pm  

    MediaSheep,

    What the US is now demanding others fix is a result of their own policy of supporting the most extreme elements in order to defeat the Soviets.

    This culminated in Benazir Bhutto recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The genie was let out and no one can control them, especially now that they have been joined by the Taliban and Al-qaeda in the tribal areas.”

    I’d have assumed that mainstream Pakistan might have found that unacceptable. Correct me if I am wrong.

  31. fugstar — on 30th November, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    What suprises me is that Indias own shady secret service RAW, who are probably even more malevolent and meddlesome as ISI dont seem to have had a clue.

    there are 2 recent incidents that cause me to doubt the integrity of the forces there. They are not exceptional to Indian security agencies or unusual regionally.

    1) The Indian Navy’s sinking of a ‘Somali pirate mothership’ which ended up being baloney.

    2) Recent findings of tehelka, followed up by the supreme court, about how the Gujarat Police seem to have faked encounter killings with the connivance of politicians.

    Todays more selfless resignations of indian security officials are inspiring in their demonstration of humility. That is the critical quality needed to figure out what is going on. National willy waving was the US method and it marks its decline as well as the destruction of several other countries. The Indian method, i hope, will resemble it’s society’s rise.

  32. marvin — on 30th November, 2008 at 1:09 pm  

    Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated last night after it was claimed that the only terrorist to have survived three days of deadly battles in Mumbai was from Pakistan, and that his nine fellow Islamist militants were either from that country or had been trained there.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/30/mumbai-terror-attacks-india3

  33. Parvinder — on 30th November, 2008 at 2:46 pm  

    Douglas: ‘But you have to give them space to resolve that. No?’
    - Agree, although the pessimist in me tells me we’ve been here before – a lot of rhetoric but no action.

    MediaSheep: ‘The govt of Zia ul Haq supported this ideologically but it could never have got anywhere without massive CIA funding and training. What the US is now demanding others fix is a result of their own policy of supporting the most extreme elements in order to defeat the Soviets. ‘
    - Good point.

  34. S Johal — on 30th November, 2008 at 3:47 pm  

    there are two winners in the massacre of the inocents, the The facist BJP and its stormtroopers the RSS, this attack is a godsent gift to these communalist forces. This will boost their standing in the comming elections. the other Winner is the USA, this artrocity will/might fully bring India aboard with the USA led war on so called ‘globe war on terrorism’ I strongly beleive this will be a disaster for Indian Sub Continent India was asked to send troops to Iraq, which India rightly rejected, this policy might be overturned and drag India in America’s quest to dominate the worlds economical resources in name of fighting ‘terrorism’ The ‘kashmir national question’ must be be solved as matter of urgency, this will greatly take away the grass root support for the extreamist. The Indian state must firmly deal with Hindu facist, who carry out rape, murder o other religous minorities in India with immunity. enjoy. The terrorist atack in Mumbai, not only a atack on Indians but also on foreigners, Particulary British,jewish and Americans this attack had an international perspective and we must analize it in that dimention. I dont be the Kasmiri militents were directly involved in the atack for the simple reason, they dont attack British subject because they enjoy wide range of support in the UK particulary amongst the Labour MPs we need to look at these attack in wider context then conflict between Muslim and Hindu’s or Muslims and West.

  35. billy — on 30th November, 2008 at 5:11 pm  

    dont be the Kasmiri militents were directly involved in the atack for the simple reason, they dont attack British subject because they enjoy wide range of support in the UK particulary amongst the Labour MPs

    Amongst Labour MPs with large Kashmiri populations in their constituency paying lipservice when big fatty Lord Ahmed swings around maybe. But tell me, do you really think that evil bastards who shoot children in the head as they eat dinner with their parents in a hotel restaurant in Mumbai, are going to give a shit about what a few Labour MPs in Sparkhill or Bradford are going to think about it?

    Pakistan created this Frankenstein’s monster in the hope that it would behave itself and only attack Indian soldiers in Kashmir. It’s now not only attacking everyone in India, it’s attacking everyone in Pakistan as well. If people say to India to introspect because the Muslim minority there is marginalised, what is Pakistans excuse for people being blown to pieces in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore by Jihadis? And Pakistan is the epicentre of this. Every single foiled terrorist plot intended to commit mass murder in Britain has a Pakistani element in it. When they succeed and we have blood and entrails on our streets again, it will be the same, just as it was in 7/7. Pakistan has to get to grips with this immediately. There’s no excuse any more. No ifs and buts and mewling sympathising, what about this and what about that. They need to do it now.

  36. S Johal — on 30th November, 2008 at 6:45 pm  

    Pakistan created this Frankenstein’s monster in the hope that it would behave itself and only attack Indian soldiers in Kashmir. Frankensteins Monster were created by the CIA and ISI to fight the Russians. And now they have turned againster their creater and infidals. We must differentiate between Kashmiri Militant who are fighting for a Independent Kashmir {which I totally disagree with] and these jihadis who’s only mission is to kill infidals, killing their brothers in the process. We cannot negociate with the Jihadis, because they are not open to negociation unless we all start to follow their kind of Islam. But the state must address the grievence of peoples and their just demands. Indians state response is Larthi Charge, even againgt shcool children, women, doctors and agitiating Workers [police killed 13 in bihar] Pushing further the downtroden people into arms of the militants. We must not have a knee jerk reaction. .

  37. Refresh — on 30th November, 2008 at 7:50 pm  

    An interesting read, calls Zardari for panicking and offering to send senior ISI representative to Delhi:

    http://frontierpost.com.pk/News.aspx?ncat=ed&nid=206

  38. fugstar — on 30th November, 2008 at 8:41 pm  

    45.

    those who stand to gain.

    how would someone like daoud ibrahim, or another ‘business’ type gain from this.

    it could be some alliance of a kind using stupid ‘past it’ youngsters as willing agents of death.

  39. Refresh — on 30th November, 2008 at 8:46 pm  

    More from the frontier post:

    http://frontierpost.com.pk/News.aspx?ncat=ar&nid=615

    ‘Is India failing?’

    Who killed Karkare?

  40. fugstar — on 30th November, 2008 at 10:04 pm  

    Not interesting strands of inquiry to the question markers holmes. Best to entrench interests .

  41. billy — on 30th November, 2008 at 10:42 pm  

    I bet you read the Daily Jang as well, Refresh.

    I used to read it because they stocked it in my local library when I lived in Kentish Town and once a week I’d spend a couple of hours catching up on magazines and stuff.

    But the Daily Jang was an absolute hoot. Among the stories about Pakistani community centres opening in Bradford, bearded mullahs giving a lecture in Small Heath, and other sundry local press news clippings (‘illegal immigrants held aftrer raid on Derby restaurant by racist immigration officers’), I’d read the letters and opinion pages.

    And they could be summed up as all containing, in one combination, variety or form, hysterical bigoted screeds about Jewish perfidy, Hindu conspiracy, Jewish conspiracy, Hindu perfidy, warnings about the sluts of Western society tempting Muslim girls away from Islam, more on Hindu – Jewish conspiracy and perfidy (often combined), and paranoia about how Western society in the form of Britain is actually a den of vice, sodomy, pornography and shame. It really was good fun.

    One of the points being, that as a look into the communal discussion taking place amongst British Pakistanis, it was utterly enlightening, and in the context of these knuckle dragging neanderthals we seen on our TV screens and the front pages of our newspapers every two weeks, in the latest plot to murder ‘dancing sluts’, I was not in the least bit surprised by British Pakistani involvment in the deranged activities of the global Jihad, given the atmospherics in which many British Pakistani men grow up in, in their home, in their media, in the wider community.

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