Last Saturday, on demand of India’s authorities, two suspected of the attack on the American center in Calcutta on January 22, 2002 have been deported from the United Arab Emirates.
Key suspect Aftab Ansari has already admitted his participation in the attack’s organization. Another suspect, Rajhu Anatkod, is still silent, but this is not going to last long.
Spokesmen for India’s Central Investigating Bureau inform that Ansari has admitted his connection with Pakistan-based groups of Islamic extremists. In particular, he was in contact with Omar Sheikh, one of the terrorists who hijacked an Indian airliner to Kandahar in 1999. In addition, the investigation revealed that Ansari was the organizer of a wide network for the illegal delivery of arms, ammunition, and explosives from Pakistan as well as drug circulation designed to help the activities of terrorists.
However, Ansari’s confessions have caused no great surprise: India’s authorities told about the connection of Pakistani special services with the act of terrorism in Calcutta right after the tragedy. The statements of India’s authorities have been treated partially with scepticism, especially in the light of the conflict with Pakistan. The confessions of the terrorist have come in handy for the Indian special services. They became the ground for the detention of three Pakistanis, and arrest warrants have been issued for two more Pakistanis (and one citizen from Bangladesh).
Ansari’s arrest is likely to hurt the image of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf greatly. The radical Islamic groups in Pakistan are not going to stop their activity. It looks as if their efforts are still gradually directed at the support of the tension in neighboring India. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that there will be no more acts of terrorism like that one in Calcutta. Ansari and his accomplices were not the only terrorists on India’s territory. However, India’s authorities are now incapable of annihilating all terrorist groups. The further development of the situation is to be predicted easily: India will accuse Pakistan of supporting terrorism, and Pakistan, in its turn, will reject the charges and accuse India of the same. No way out of the circle can be offered so far. The parties are reluctant to meet the wishes of each other for several reasons. First, they do not want to demonstrate their weakness, real or imaginary. Second, the tension in the bipartite relations entails the increase in the military spending of both India and Pakistan. Third, the problem of terrorism and the support of the terrorism by special services really exists, but Delhi and Islamabad do not wish to settle the problem by joint efforts. The special services of both states profit from the unstable situation in the bipartite relations. At least, a foreign enemy to struggle with really exists.
That is why the armies of the confronting states are in a complete war-time state of alert along the border. The whole of the world community is looking forward for the conflict’s end. No progress in the conflict’s settlement is likely to be expected soon.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/11/36875.html