India is keeping ‘open’ the option of a military strike on Pakistani soil even as the two hotels attacked in Mumbai reopened their doors.
By Rahul Bedi in Mumbai
As the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and the nearby Trident-Oberoi invited guests through their doors following the attacks that killed more than 170 people, the Indian government made clear that it held Pakistan responsible.
“Terrorism remains a scourge for our region. If a country [Pakistan] cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist to protect our interests and people from this menace,” said Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian foreign minister.
Mr Mukherjee and the defence minister A K Antony met India’s three service chiefs and senior security officials on Saturday to consider all possible scenarios against their nuclear rival and neighbour, which they believe has given shelter to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamist group accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks.
Guests have already begun to trickle into the Trident, with about 100 of the 550 rooms booked and all four restaurants operational for the first full day of business in just over three weeks.
Earlier a private, multi-faith ceremony “to pray for solace and a safer future in the days ahead” was held at the hotel.