Lahore attack attempt to precipitate
**Was it a plan to take cricketers hostage?
**Attempt to bargain with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka?
Defence Analysts and intelligence services of South Asia are working
hard to ascertain whether last Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Sri
Lankan cricket team in Lahore was part of a larger plan to create a
diplomatic crisis among South Asian nations.
The initial reaction of Pakistani officials was that the attack had
the same hallmark as the Mumbai terror attack last November, for which
Pakistan based terrorists are being blamed by India. On the other hand,
certain sections of the media in Pakistan are hinting that terrorists
based in India may have caused the attack.
Meanwhile, the United States while condemning the attack described it
as an attack on positive relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Director, Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) Amir Rana in an
exclusive interview with Daily News said that investigators are trying
to establish whether the terrorists had any external links.
Attention has also being focused on Lakshar- e- Tayyiba (LeT) in view
of its previously known connections with the LTTE. Defence analysts are
not lightly discarding the theory put forward in an AP news report that
the terrorists were planning to hijack the Sri Lankan cricket team.
The use of heavy arms and ammunition, sophisticated communication
equipment and high energy drinks by the attackers point to the
possibility of a failed hostage drama, it said.
This has led to speculation whether the LTTE in search for a
life-line was using the Lahore terrorists to kidnap the cricketers and
bargain with the Government for a ceasefire or whether the terrorists
were intending to bargain with India or Pakistan to get the release of
any of their arrested leaders. Any one of these scenarios would have
precipitated a diplomatic crisis involving India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
whose repercussions would have spread to the entire South Asian region.