Addressing a Commemoration Anniversary of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai organized jointly by The American India Public Affairs Committee and American Jewish Committee in New York, Mr. Jagdish Sewhani, a prominent community Leader and President of the American India Public Affairs Committee, described the November 26, 2008, terrorist attack on Mumbai, the worst terrorist attack that India has ever seen, one that shook the world after 9/11.
“A group of terrorists, commandoes from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) trained by Pakistani establishment and its ISI to create mayhem in India’s financial capital,” said Mr. Sewhani.
“At least 174 innocent lives were lost, including nine LeT terrorists. Several of the dead were foreign nationals including from Israel and the United States of America. More than 300 people were wounded.We will never forget those four days in 2008. It’s etched in our memory forever,” said Mr. Sewhani.
Mr. Sewhani further said that 12 years later, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with unprecedented co-operation from Israel and the US, India is a much safer place. “Under the dynamic Leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the Indian government has taken strong steps against terrorist groups, its sympathizers and financers, both inside India and outside, we appear to have won several battles against State-sponsored terrorist groups from across the border,” said Mr. Sewhani.
“Pakistan today is more isolated than ever. It’s in a financial crisis. Globally thereare no takers for its BS, even in the Islamic world, butIts masters continue to survive and thrive in Pakistan. The Pakistani Army, in particular ISI, has not given up on its anti-India activities. Terrorist training camps continue to exist in Pakistan and terrorists continue to try sneak inside India,” said Mr. Sewhani.
Thanking President Donald Trump for standing with India in the hour of crisis after the Pulwama terrorist attack, Mr. Sewhani said that It is under him that the United States for the first time stopped all security assistance to Pakistan. “It was during his administration that UN Security Council declared Azhar Masood, the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attack, as a global terrorist.”
Consul General of India in New York Mr. Randhir Jaiswal said that it is important for the world and Global community for justice that those responsible are brought to book. “Pakistan must do what is required to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. Mr. Jaiswal described the 26/11 attacks as ghastly attack unknown annals of history,” he said.
“As in time of Covid19 the world has come together to fight this pandemic,we must all come together to fight terrorize,a global problem tooth and nail. Let’s remember on this occasion those who fell to the barbaric and bloody bullets of insanity and inhumanity and those who sacrificed life to save our tomorrow,”said Mr. Jaiswal.
Mr. Jaiswal said terrorism needs a very strong global cooperation and called on the international community to ensure that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which India sponsored at the UN,is adopted at the earliest.
Mr. Israel Nitzan, acting consul General of Israel in New York, said that “country was shocked by the barbaric Terrorist attacks carried out against innocent civilians and foreign tourists across Mumbai in November 2008.He stressed that Israel, India and U.S. share deep bonds based on shared experiences. This Horrific attack in Mumbai strengthens our deep bond and friendship, MI Nitzan said.
Mr. Nitzan said that “we will not allow terrorism to break us, the attack is a lesson about our resiliency. The objective of attack in Mumbai was to cripple the economy, society and its vivid and wonderful culture and they (terrorist) Failed miserably. Indian Economy has continued to grow stronger; its Society is resilient and the relations with Israel grows stronger”.
Mr. Nitzan said that Israel, India and the U.S. have extraordinary cooperation in counterterrorism and fighting hate and radicalism.
Mr. Shatrughna Sinha, India’s Dy Consul General, said that 12 year after the heinous attack the perpetrators of this attack are still roaming free. “Acts of terror not only violate the right of life of the individual who suffers these Attacks but also families whose rights are also violated.”
Mr. Sinha also shared profiles of few individuals and foreign nationals who lost their lives in the Mumbai Attack. Among them were Rabbi Gavriel and his wife Rivka, who was five months pregnant at the time, who was killed when Pakistani terrorist stormed Nariman House. The couple ‘s son Moshe Holtzberg was saved by Indian caregiver Sandra Samuel.
Rabbi David Levy regional Director of American Jewish Committee and Adva Volchenkov Consul for Public Diplomacy also spoke a the event.