Ansari’s alleged confession that Pakistani intelligence officials were present in the control room from which he directed the attackers is explosive. If true, these accusations will undermine an already shaky U.S.–Pakistan relationship and further tarnish Pakistan’s global image, as the gruesome attacks were televised across the world over a three-day period that happened to coincide with the American Thanksgiving holiday.
Pakistan has dragged its feet on investigating and prosecuting individuals allegedly involved in the 2008 attacks. Moreover, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Hafez Mohammed Sayeed, roams the country freely, giving speeches and even flirting with the idea of becoming involved in Pakistani politics. The spectacle of a terrorist leader taking on a national political voice in Pakistan has amplified the impression that Pakistan’s leaders are either unable or unwilling to control terrorism within their borders.
Pakistan must take action against any individuals involved in the Mumbai attacks, even if it means punishing serving intelligence officials. Doing otherwise would only hasten the country’s international isolation and slide toward pariah state status.
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