Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lahore attack: Conspiracy theories galore

Pakistan and Sri Lanka's foreign minister said on Wednesday that Tuesday's attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore was an attempt to destabilise their bilateral relations and that they will ensure that they get to the bottom of it.But Lahore is buzzing with conspiracy theories of foreign hand and India. There have been some arrests but investigators are still hunting for clues."We have prepared sketches of the suspects and the government of Punjab has announced an award of Rs 1 crore on them," Lahore police chief Habibur Rehman said.With the latest strike damaging its world image even further, the Pakistan government is on damage control mode."The terrorist attack against the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore shows once again the evil we are confronting with. We have not and will not negotiate with extremist Taliban and terrorists. This is an existential battle. If we lose, so will the world. Failure is not an option," Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview.But in Islamabad, conspiracy theories have started circulating."Pakistan is under continuous aggression and the foreigners have been targeted with the view to bring a bad name to the country. I do not overrule a foreign hand in it," Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.A whisper campaign is accusing India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of planning these attacks in retaliation for Mumbai. India responded by asking Pakistan to look within -- something even Pakistan's political Opposition is demanding of the PPP government."What happened yesterday created a stir in the world. Sri Lanka was attacked and they had to leave the country and go. But that hasn't solved anything that is happening in Swat or the issues with the Taliban or the economic status," PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said.As the shock over the Tuesday's attacks settles into anger, the Lahore attacks have served to expose serious faultiness within Pakistan itself.


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