The fragile new government has, until now, denied any official involvement in the attack.
India’s Central Intelligence Bureau, with help from Britain, America and other countries whose citizens fell victim to last year’s attack on Mumbai, has completed a large dossier detailing the investigation conducted into the sole survivor and the weapons and communications of his fellow terrorists.
The file has not been made public yet but its conclusions have enabled India’s prime minister to allege that there was official Pakistani collusion in the atrocity which seems to have been initiated from Karachi.
The dossier has been delivered to Islamabad where the fragile new government has, until now, denied any official involvement in the attack, and even rejected claims concerning the nationality of the terrorists.
The question of official involvement in a group of extremist Kashmiri nationalists has profound implications for the entire sub-continent.
If it can be demonstrated that Pakistan either tolerated or acquiesced in the advance planning of the attack, or was in satphone contact with the terrorists, or supplied them with their weapons, then the political consequences will be grave indeed.
Pakistan will be portrayed as a rogue state, in possession of nuclear weapons, that has colluded in A.Q. Khan’s atomic proliferation but given him a pardon, India, which thus far has exercised commendable restraint in responding to the atrocity, may find it difficult to sustain that position in the face of civil disorder and demands for retaliation.
India lives permanently on the brink of religious unrest and publication of unequivocal proof of Pakistani involvement, combined with Islamabad’s reluctance to take the necessary action against the militants, may be a formula for yet further conflict.