Pakistan Admits Arrests in Mumbai Attacks

The Pakistani government, after months of delay tactics, acknowledged Thursday that “some part of the conspiracy” behind the November attacks in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, took place in Pakistan. The comments by Rehman Malik — the head of the Interior Ministry — was Pakistan’s first formal acknowledgment that Islamic militants trained in his country were behind the plot and was welcomed as a “positive development” by India’s foreign minister.

Eight people have been charged, of which six are in custody, including a person from Barcelona, Spain, who Malik said made payments for the attackers’ cellphone communications. Pakistan now admits that they have evidence that multiple terrorists, with ‘international terror links’ left port in the Arabian Gulf and by boat entered India near Mumbai.  They got financial and other material assistance from people abroad, as well as in Pakistan itself.  And they have shown direct links to the Pakistani terrorist group Lakshar-e-Taiba.

While Pakistan’s admission was described as a “positive development” by Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, he said Islamabad still needed to take “credible steps” to destroy what it called terrorist infrastructure in that country.  Mukherjee said India would examine Pakistan’s request for more information on the attacks and will share whatever it can with Islamabad.

Overall, this is a very positive development.  Of course it took months, but in this part of the world everything takes time.  If Pakistan makes material progress in the war on terror, India and the world should consider it a victory.  And in the long run, it will be good for Pakistan as well.