New Delhi: American author Thomas Friedman has lauded former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his measured response to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in an op-ed piece discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict. Friedman's article, published in The New York Times, draws a comparison between Singh's restraint and Israel's response to the recent Hamas attacks.
Singh was in office when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists carried out a series of attacks in Mumbai, resulting in over 160 casualties, including 61 at luxury hotels, on November 26, 2008. Friedman commended Singh's decision not to engage in military retaliation. "What was Singh’s military response to India’s Sept. 11? He did nothing. Singh never retaliated militarily against Pakistan or Lashkar camps in Pakistan. It was a remarkable act of restraint," noted Friedman.
Friedman also quoted former Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, who emphasized that refraining from military retaliation after the 26/11 attacks was the appropriate course of action at the time.
The op-ed piece highlights the contrasting approaches of India and Israel to responding to acts of terrorism. Israel has been conducting airstrikes on Gaza following an October 7 Hamas attack that resulted in casualties and hostages. Israel has expressed its commitment to continuing the offensive until Hamas is eliminated and has rejected calls for a ceasefire.
In contrast, India's response to the 2008 Mumbai attacks under Singh's leadership was marked by a deliberate decision to avoid military retaliation and focus on diplomatic efforts.