Report: Mumbai attacks test Pakistan’s new ministry

ISLAMABAD — The terrorist attacks on Mumbai have put the spotlight on a new ministry created by Denial
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani: the Ministry of Denial.

So far, the ministry has performed beyond expectations, according to a senior government official. "The Prime Minister is very happy," the official said. "The ministry issued 2,385 denials in the first 24 hours alone."

So efficient was the ministry that it issued the first denial five minutes before the attacks took place.

Asked how that was possible without foreknowledge, the government official said, "It is the time difference. We are 30 minutes ahead of Mumbai."

Denying responsibility for terrorist attacks in India has become such a regular task for Pakistani officials in recent years that Gillani decided in October to create the new ministry. The Mumbai attacks were the first major test for the ministry, which responded by not only faxing and emailing press releases to the media, but also creating a "Pakistan didn't do it" group on Facebook.

S.M. Qureshi, Minister of Denial, was also interviewed on CNN and other networks, wearing a cap that said, "No, we didn't."

He took exception to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that the attacks had originated outside the country. "The Indian government should not jump to any conclusions," Qureshi said. "And they should not run or walk to any conclusions either."

He said India should carry out a thorough investigation before pointing fingers at anyone. "We hope it will be good investigation," he said. "They should take their time and, whatever happens, not get any help from Scotland Yard."

Noting that a group called Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Qureshi said, "I urge all western journalists to look at the map. They will find out that Pakistan and Deccan are as far apart as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston."

Experts say that the scale and sophistication of the attacks suggest that a group outside India may have co-ordinated them. "Our Mujahideen are not that sophisticated," Qureshi said. "All they know how to do is plant bombs and bomb plants. That's about it."

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  1. Ramadas Mannattil says:

    Tension and sorrow of the past 2 days just got relieved by your post.

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