`Mumbai II could lead to full blown Indo-Pak war`

As US observes the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, a reputed Washington-based research group Saturday warned that a repeat of 26/11 may lead to a full blown Indo-Pak war.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 09:46 AM IST

Washington: As US observes the ninth
anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, a reputed
Washington-based research group Saturday warned that a repeat of
26/11 may lead to a full blown Indo-Pak war.

Preventing Mumbai-II from occurring remains a major
foreign policy challenge for the US, the report said.

"One of the more predictable foreign policy challenges of
the next years is a `Mumbai II`: a large-scale attack on a
major Indian city by a Pakistani militant group that kills
hundreds," said the 42-page report from the Bipartisan Policy
Centre`s National Security Preparedness Group, a Washington
based research group.

Authored by Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman, the report
"Assessing the Terrorist Threat" appreciated the considerable
restraint shown by India in its reaction to the provocation of
the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

"Another such attack, however, would likely produce
considerable political pressure on the Indian government to
`do something`. That something would likely involve incursions
over the border to eliminate the training camps of Pakistani
militant groups with histories of attacking India," the report
said.

"That could lead in turn to a full-blown war for the
fourth time since 1947 between India and Pakistan," it said.

"Such a war involves the possibility of a nuclear
exchange and the certainty that Pakistan would move
substantial resources to its eastern border and away from
fighting the Taliban on its western border, so relieving
pressure on all the militant groups based there, including
al Qaeda," said the report.

Over a four-day period in late November 2008,
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) carried out multiple attacks in Mumbai
targeting five-star hotels housing Westerners, as well as a
Jewish-American community centre, it noted.

Additional incidents involved the Pakistan-born US
citizen David Headley (who had changed his name from Dawood
Sayed Gilani).

Headley`s reconnaissance efforts on behalf of LeT were
pivotal to the attacks in Mumbai, the report said.

"Last year he also planned an operation to kill those
responsible for the 2005 publication in a Danish newspaper of
cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which many Muslims had
deemed to be offensive," the report said.

PTI

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