My dear Muhammad Ali: Listen to this. "Twelve terrorists riding motorcycles went from Delhi to Amritsar. There they hijacked a bus and proceeded towards the India-Pakistan border near Wahga. About 10 km from Wahga they abandoned the bus and boarded some bicycles. Near the border a cache of arms discretely stashed in bushes awaited them. Hauling their lethal weapons in knapsacks they crossed the border near the famous Wahga checkpoint, walked to the road nearby, took three taxis and drove to the fabled city of Lahore right under the noses of security. Their destination was Liberty Circle, close to the Gaddafi stadium where the second cricket Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was being played. The Pakistani border security and police were conducting a huge exercise in the area at the time but despite a warning by the Criminal Investigation Department of just such an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team the terrorists eluded them. "On arriving at Liberty some terrorists purchased 24,000 rupees worth of food and provisions from nearby shops and alcohol from by a bootlegger and took positions. Soon the coach transporting the Sri Lankan cricketers approached the Liberty Circle. The terrorists hit it from three sides with Kalashnikovs, hand grenades and rocket launchers, one of which was used to fire at the back of the coach to try and disable it. Obviously, the effort was to hijack the bus and kidnap the cricketers. The inexplicably sparse police present put up a ferocious fight and after a pitched battle lasting about 20 minutes chased the terrorists away but failed to kill or capture any, which an elite commando force worth its salt should have done in minutes. Six policemen died to save their foreign guests. The intrepid coach driver, a hero, had the presence of mind to drive the coach away." Is this not as cock and bull a story as India's about rubber dinghies, hijacked trawlers, taxis, food and alcohol purchases that was told after Mayhem I in Mumbai, the terrorists eluding the full might of the Indian navy and coast guard conducting an exercise to prevent just such a thing happening, despite being warned? The Indian story was told repeatedly without a blush; mine is fiction to show how bizarre such stories are. Mumbai I, made in Bollywood, was a box office hit. Mayhem II, made in Lollywood, threatens to be a flop. Why? In Mayhem I the terrorists kept the Indian commandos and police at bay for 72 hours. Many foreigners and innocent Indians were killed. Mayhem II was over in 20 minutes. No foreigners were killed and neither was any important official in our security establishment conducting a sensitive investigation shot dead by his own police. In Mayhem I the Indian prime minister and foreign minister lost no time in going hysterical, spewing gibberish. Pakistan's leaders reacted maturely and with equanimity. The Sri Lankan government behaved maturely too, as did their cricketers. Their media lambasted India for orchestrating a defamation campaign against Pakistan. The response of the police at the point of attack was brave, but like Mayhem I the intelligence failure was pathetic. The Punjab government and our intelligence agencies have a lot to answer for. Why was the CID report not heeded? Where was pre-emption? Where intelligence? Why was traffic not blocked along the route? Why was the coach not armour plated and with armed guards on it? Who's in charge? Pakistan's government is moving fast and says that it has numerous leads. A preliminary report has already been given to the president. (Why not the prime minister, who is really supposed to be in charge?) But it's still too early to tell who was behind Mayhem II. It could be the Kashmir Liberation-specific Lashkar-i-Taiba (which has also been blamed for Mayhem I), either doing it on its own or as mercenaries on behalf of someone else. LeT has bases not only in Pakistan but in Indian Occupied Kashmir and India as well. They would hardly want a Kashmir settlement that the now lapsed composite dialogue might have been leading to, for that would require compromises from all sides. They want nothing short of full freedom from India. As to the Pakistani Taliban, with some of them making deals and getting territory where to run their writ, they would hardly wish to upset the applecart. Many such groups are financed and armed by India - we know it but don't make a song and dance of it. Getting to who did it is important no doubt, but who was behind it, who were the planners, handlers and mastermind and which country are they operating from are more important. What is common between Mayhem I and Mayhem II is that the terrorists in both events looked, dressed and moved the same way. Their styles were similar. None of them wore beards or looked Arab or Pushtoon. In neither case did they own up to who they are, nor did they make any demands. With all of them having got away, the fear is that they could unleash Mayhem III on the 'Long March' of the lawyers starting Wednesday and bring Pakistan to boiling point. The motivation for India to be involved is certainly there. It not only has Mayhem I to be angry about but the defeat of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka is also a great setback for it, for LTTE are a creation of India, financed and armed by it. Pakistan, on the other hand, has historically helped Sri Lankan governments to counter the LTTE, especially in strategic brainstorming. Pakistan's High Commissioner to Colombo Bashir Wali Mohmand (an old intelligence hand who was head of our Intelligence Bureau and detachment commander of the ISI in the Frontier during the Afghan jihad against the USSR) was doing exactly that and the tide of the civil war turning against the LTTE and India. On Pakistan's Independence Day, August 14, 2006, there was a deadly assassination attempt on him when a remote controlled explosive-laden auto rickshaw tried to ram into the side of his car. The Sri Lankan commandos guarding him drove their jeep between the car and the rickshaw and took the hit. All five commandos died, as did two passers-by. But they saved the lives of Bashir, his driver, wife and daughter who were also in the car. We know that India's RAW was behind it but didn't start dancing up and down. Now five young men from our Elite Force have given their lives to save the Sri Lankan cricketers and also of match referee Chris Broad. The defeat of the LTTE is a defeat for India's effort to portray itself as a regional superpower. (Stop laughing at 'regional superpower'. Dreaming and daydreaming are fundamental human rights). The Sri Lankans agreed to come at the last minute after India pulled out of its tour. India was not happy at all and tried to sabotage the tour, going to the extent of luring Sri Lanka to its shores by hastily arranging a tournament involving Bangladesh too. Clever Sri Lanka participated in both. Ungracious as ever, a commentator of Indian descent, a Roy something, suggested on Sky News that Pakistan shouldn't be invited to play abroad because "they will bring the terrorists with them." The Indian foreign minister was his usual discourteous self, making a crude and crass statement, the same old dirge about dismantling our terror networks. Not a word of sympathy or regret. He forgets his own terror networks that have caused so many uprisings, insurgencies and freedom movements in India and sent thousands of militants and refugees to us. In contrast, the Sri Lankan government, media and players were a study in civility. None blamed Pakistan. Their captain and vice captain made incredibly gracious statements and showed their large-heartedness - grace under tremendous pressure, the stuff real men are made of. Their players are inviting the coach driver to Sri Lanka. Their foreign minister, who visited Pakistan immediately, made statements of solidarity with Pakistan, said that they would play again in future and no way should the World Cup matches to be played here be cancelled. The behaviour of the Sri Lankans is yet another lesson to India in probity, sobriety and civilisation. The writer is a senior political writer E-mail: