China Matters always has good instincts about this kind of thing. And this is what he says:
The horror perpetrated in Mumbai might be the work of al Qaeda, Kashmir separatists, some previously unknown Islamic extremist group indigenous to India, or an obscenity committed by Indian gangsters or Hindu ultra-nationalists.
But to me it looks a lot like blowback from the U.S. campaign to rein in Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) apparatus and orchestrate an anti-Taliban/anti-al Qaeda united front of democracies stretching from Kabul to Islamabad to New Delhi
Also, it looks really bad for Pakistan when the very balanced editor of The Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan, is writing columns like this:
NEW DELHI: Keenly aware of the Pakistani military’s desire to generate tension on the Indo-Pak border, India is calibrating its response to the proof it has gathered linking the Inter-Services Intelligence to the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai so as to avoid the political and diplomatic trap that has been laid for it, authoritative sources claimed here on Thursday.
The Indian media has come up with a lot of stuff that is all over the place, but this claim of India having concrete evidence of ISI involvement makes a lot of sense, and I have a feeling that they are right. The NYT, etc have been trying their best to make this out to be primarily Lashkar attack, but there are good reasons for the US to not want the highest levels of the ISI and Pakistani military to be implicated in this. And I mean, some of Syed Saleem Shehzad’s columns have just been really bizarre, like the one about Al-Qaeda “hijacking” what was meant to be a low-level operation in Kashmir and taking it to Mumbai. Shehzad is known to be a sort of ISI “stooge” at times. So who knows.
In the past, the Pakistani military has always come out of every one of these retarded schemes (like Kargil) at a significant disadvantage to India. But this particular scheme, if it really was hatched by the highest levels of the ISI, has put India in a really difficult position. How the hell is India supposed to respond to this? Conventional troop build-up is out, because that would be playing right into the hands of the Pakistani army that is just dying to pull out of FATA. Tactical strikes on militant training camps in Azad Kashmir or Muridke, the base of the LeT sound really, really risky. What options does that leave India with?