World condemns Mumbai attacks
Thai PM declares emergency at airports
Bomb near US embassy kills 4
Terrorism must be fought unitedly: Patil
Zardari assures Sonia full support
Pakistan to opt for visa liberalisation
Washington, November 27
Obama, who is continuously monitoring the situation, spoke to Indian ambassador Ronen Sen over phone and conveyed his message that his thoughts and prayers are with the people of India.
A statement issued by his chief national security spokesperson Brooke Anderson said the Mumbai terror attacks demonstrated “the grave and urgent threat” of
“The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks,” it said.
The Democratic President-elect told Sen that he is completely supportive of all actions of the Bush Administration to be of whatever assistance to the Government of India in dealing with the menace.
Condemning the deadly attacks, President George W. Bush said the US would continue to stand with the people of India in this time of tragedy.
“The US government continues to monitor the situation, including the safety and security of our citizens, and stands ready to assist and support the Indian government,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said, adding the President has been updated regularly.
British Premier Gordon Brown, who sent a message of condolence to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the “outrageous” attacks will be met with a “vigorous response”. “I have sent a message to Prime Minister Singh that the UK stands solidly with his government as they respond,” he said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared that the use of terrorism to resolve issues was “impermissible.”
“The President has said that use of terrorist methods to resolve any issues is impermissible,” Kremlin spokesperson Natalya Timakova said in Caracas in Venezuela, where Medvedev is on a visit as part of his Latin American voyage.
UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon said “such violence is totally unacceptable” and that no cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians.
A statement issued by its current French Presidency said the EU was aware of the love of the Indian people to democracy, against which such terror attacks were directed.
Describing the Mumbai strikes as the “savage terrorist attacks”, Canada said “these cowardly” acts were “truly appalling.” “Canada and India share a commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Among our mutual priorities is close cooperation to promote international security and to fight terrorism,” Canada’s foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement.
China strongly condemned the Mumbai strikes, saying it opposed all forms of terrorist attacks. “We express our deep condolences to the victims and solicitude to the families and the injured,” its foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought stepped-up regional cooperation against terrorism, saying the “attack in Mumbai once again reminds us of the brutality of the terrorists and the grave threat of terrorism that the entire humanity faces.” “Terrorists are especially challenging South Asia. A vigorous response to counter these terrorist challenges requires an even more intensified regional cooperation and coordination in all aspects,” he said in a statement.
Condemning the Mumbai attack in the “strongest terms”, Bangladesh called it a “mindless act”. “Today our hearts are with so many innocent Indians who have been affected by these cowardly attacks,” Foreign Adviser of the interim government Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said.
South Korea, whose 26 nationals including diplomats reportedly escaped the attack on the Taj hotel, denounced the Mumbai terror strikes as a crime against the mankind. It’s foreign ministry said a task force has been set up to devise ways to better protect South Koreans residing in India.
Deploring the attacks as cowardly, New Zealand said it was an attempt to cause widespread, indiscriminate casualties and cautioned its civilians against tourist and non-essential travel to Mumbai.
The Philippines condemned the deadly attacks in Mumbai, saying it was “united” with India to defeat terror groups. It said all Filipino government security agencies have been alerted to prevent similar attacks in the Philippines. — PTI
Bangkok, November 27
Deputy agriculture minister Thirachai Sankaew said the police would be in charge of the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports blockaded by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).
“The cabinet agreed to use the emergency decree at the two airports to bring the situation back to normal,” he said after a cabinet meeting in the northern city of Chiang Mai.
The PAD refused to end their protests, which has forced flight cancellations and stranded thousands of travellers.
“We will not leave. We will use human shields against the police if they try to disperse us,” PAD leader Suriyasai Katasila said.
Thailand’s three-year-old political crisis has deepened since the PAD began a “final battle” on Monday to unseat a government it accuses of being a pawn of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup.
With rumours of another putsch swirling, Somchai urged the army to stay put and denied that he planned to sack army chief Anupong Paochina, a day after the general urged him to call a snap election.
“Troops should stay in their barracks and the prime minister is not going to sack anybody,” spokesman Na tawut Saikuar told reporters.— Reuters
Kabul, November 27
The target of the attack about 60 m from the heavily secured entrance to the embassy appeared to have been a passing convoy of foreign troops, an Afghan interior ministry official said.
The blast badly damaged several cars and a bus with the area packed with morning rush-hour traffic. A large pool of blood smeared the road and a tree was set alight.
“The information we have so far is that four persons have been killed and three wounded. It was a suicide attack,” a city police chief, general Alishah Paktiawal, told reporters at the scene. At least 10 wounded people removed from the scene in ambulances and police cars.
The body of the suicide attacker lay on the ground near the destroyed car apparently used to carry the bomb, he said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb with the radical Taliban and Haqqani networks said to be behind the growing number of attacks in the capital.
The heavily barricaded US embassy, with the entire road running past it blocked to traffic, was closed today for the Thanksgiving holiday. — AFP
Hanoi, November 27
In her bilateral meeting with President of Vietnam Nguyen Minh Triet in Hanoi today, Patil said terrorism anywhere was a threat to peace and must be fought unitedly as a common obligation of the international community.
In his responding remarks, Triet reciprocated the sentiments and expressed Vietnam’s full support to India at this time. He stated that the terrorist strike in India was a crime against humanity and should be dealt as such.
Speaking to reporters on the margins of various bilateral meetings, minister of sate for industry Ashwani Kumar condemned the terror attack in Mumbai and expressed the hope that a determined nation, for long a victim of terrorism, would unitedly respond with its full might to fight the forces that threaten to disrupt peace, communal harmony, the unity and Integrity of India. — TNS
Zardari assures Sonia full support
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai were widely condemned in Pakistan with the top leadership underpinning the need for concerted efforts by both countries to combat the menace.
President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and president of the ANP Asfandyar Wali Khan in separate statements deplored the Mumbai mayhem and expressed solidarity and shared anguish with the government and the people of India in this hour of outrage over the horrific killings.
President Zardari also rang up Indian Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and assured her full support in overcoming the common threat of terrorism that is aiming at destroying the economies of the two countries.
A statement released by the presidency “stressed the need for taking tough measures to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the region,” Prime Minister Gilani urged the need for “concerted efforts to make the region a peaceful place to live.”
Zardari was quoted by the official APP news agency as telling Sonia Gandhi that Pakistan was committed to international cooperation in eliminating terrorism and terrorist outfits.
Foreign minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi, talking to Pakistani TV
channel Aaj, said he had offered the India government Pakistan’s full cooperation at all levels to fight against the menace of terrorism.
“I offer support and cooperation of the people and the government of Pakistan to India in this difficult time. Pakistan and India have to fight extremism and terrorism collectively in all its forms and manifestations.
Pakistan to opt for visa liberalisation
Home secretaries of India and Pakistan have underscored the need for visa liberalisation with India agreeing to propose a draft visa agreement within four weeks.
The draft would be based on parameters discussed in their fifth round of talks that concluded here on Wednesday. Both sides noted that Protocol of 1974 on visits to religious shrines was due for revision along with lists of religious shrines in both countries.
The subject will be discussed under the segment of the secretary culture-level talks on promotion of friendly exchanges, which is likely to take place soon.
It was recommended that a revised Protocol and the list of shrines should be finalised as early as possible and the Pakistan side agreed to furnish its comments on the lists before the talks on friendly exchanges.
A joint statement released by both sides said they had “useful” discussion on the draft visa agreement. Other issues covered in the two-day meeting included anti-terrorism cooperation, exchange of prisons, drug trafficking and consular access to prisoners.
Charles celebrates Muslim talent: Muslim communities have “enriched Britain in every sense”, Prince Charles said as he attended an award ceremony for talented British Muslims alongside Jordan’s Princess Badiya bint El Hassan. The Mosaic Talent Awards have been newly created in conjunction with one of the heir-to-the-throne’s charities, Mosaic, which offers mentoring to help raise the aspirations of disaffected young Muslims. — AFP
Jackson’s autobiography: Pop king Michael Jackson is reportedly planning to write his autobiography. The singer is said to be in talks with many publishing giants in New York to land a deal to publish his life story, Contactmusic reported. “Despite all that’s known about Michael, he is still one of our most intriguing celebrities and if he’s truly candid and reveals some good secrets, his memoirs could easily be a huge bestseller,” a source said. — PTI