Now that the Iraq debacle is about to come to a close, we're going to focus our energies on Afghanistan and finally pursue the mastermind of the attacks-- the mastermind who very well may have had a hand in the Mumbai incidents.
Unfortunately, Indian PM Manmohan Singh appears to be committing some similar errors as Bush did with 9/11 and Iraq.
If your goal is to try to destabilize Pakistan, with the intent to bring Islamist parties to power there (it worked in Afghanistan in 1996), that's probably the fastest way to get al-Qaeda a nuclear weapon.
(As an aside, this is a classic example of why it's inappropriate to bring democracy to any religiously fundamentalist nation. The world would do well to learn the lessons of Ataturk. A benevolent dictator, he curbed many religious rights because he knew that without a strong anti-fundamentalist stance (like prohibiting parents from sending their kids to private (read: religious, aka madrassa) schools), Turkish republican nationalist pride would never take root.
Countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan need leaders like Simon Bolivar, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk or Abraham Lincoln, who had to roll back many civil liberties in order to try and establish a country on the verge of permanently splitting in two...)
If you had your choice of militants to conduct the Mumbai attacks, what country would you choose them from? That's right, you'd choose Pakistan, to try and incite regional conflict and distrust. (In fact, it now occurs to me, selecting a bunch of Saudis for 9/11 could have been bin Laden's attempt to undermine the cozy US-Saudi relationship)
For family/historical reasons (the Bush/Saud family ties go back several decades), if not because it would constitute a poorly executed strategy, Bush never made a statement like "These attacks have been conducted with the help of Saudi linkages" or "A group which carried out these attacks based in Saudi Arabia came with single minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country" or "We will take up strongly with our neighbours that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated and that there would be penalties for lack of suitable measures not taken by them."
Yet each of these phrases were-- here modified to contrast them against 9/11-- uttered by Indian PM Manmohan Singh (full transcript). I know very little of Indian politics, so I don't know if he is loved or reviled by his people (in parliamentary systems, rule is generally by vote of confidence, so he probably has majority support via the legislature), but I think what he's saying is badly misguided.
A much better strategy would have been to come out with a statement that undermines the terrorist aims, that undermines their message, and reinforces that they are fighting a losing battle.
Imagine if he'd issued a statement closer to the following:
I've just finished conferring with Pakistani PM Gilani who expressed his deep condolences and strongly condemned the terrorist acts. Indian and Pakistani intelligence services will be working together to bring those responsible to justice.
The cowards who undertook these acts are fighting a losing battle that we, along with the rest of the civilized nations around the globe, will ultimately win.
Terrorism is a blight on the face of civilized nations like Pakistan and India, and PM Gilani and I are today announcing a multi-national anti-terrorism task force which will usher an age of renewed peace and cooperation between our nations.
There is nothing more that the terrorists want than to drive a stake between us and our neighbors, hoping to destabilize the region, and our duty is to deny them the opportunity of using tragedies like this to further their evil agenda.
India needs to realize that Pakistan is not their enemy, they need to get past the conflicts of the past, and join together to fight religious fundamentalist terrorism.
Terrorists will always strike at the softest tactical (US bases, ships, hotels, nightclubs, airports, tourism centers, etc.) and strategic (i.e. unrest and distrust between India and Pakistan, etc.) targets, hoping to magnify the greatest sources of instability in the world.
That's why Iraq was such a boneheaded idea (plays into al Qaeda's strategic ploys while giving them thousands of tactical soft targets that can be exploited by little more than an IED), and why it doesn't make sense to make Pakistan out to be the bad guy today.