The hanging of Ajmal Kasab (it’s actually ‘Kasaab’, butcher in his native tongue) has closed one chapter on the sordid saga of the attacks on Mumbai four years ago. For the families of the victims of those ghastly attacks, the execution has provided some relief. Many have said they are now prepared to move on, some even want to spread the message of peace. It also bears reiterating that for the families that carry the wounds of 26/11, the hanging of Kasab carries an important message. But it is a fallacy for India’s government to assume that this shows their resolve to act tough against terror. And did we really use Kasab to our complete advantage? Pakistan’s establishment is still in denial and has disowned Kasab, as they had disowned their dead soldiers in the Kargil conflict as also in the earlier wars.
Kasab was a small cog in the wheel. The true masterminds of the 26/11 massacre are still at large in Pakistan, where they enjoy state patronage. These range from Hafiz Saeed, the founder and chief mentor of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who continues to spout venom against India at public gatherings without censor, and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT’s chief military commander, who has the dubious distinction of having fathered a child during his current jail tenure! Kasab knew these men—as David Headley and others have already stated—and he would have also known Sajid Mir, the plotter of the 26/11 attacks, as well as the ISI’s Major Samir, both still at large. Clearly, the complicity of the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies was considerable, but its hawks are unrepentant on their terror tryst. We failed to exploit Kasab’s knowledge of these men. Televised interviews, with the international media in attendance, of Kasab identifying his handlers, would have done wonders for India’s case against Pakistan.
Perhaps then, international opinion would have forced Pakistan to move faster on the reams of evidence on the 26/11 attackers that New Delhi has handed over to Islamabad. In retrospect, India’s diplomatic efforts to get Pakistan to abandon terror as a policy tool has had little success. And despite Pakistan dragging its feet on the 26/11 investigations, the UPA has resumed bilateral talks, even though they delude themselves into believing it’s not a ‘composite’ dialogue!
And despite several crores, by some estimates, being spent on Kasab’s security and for the legal process of his trial and conviction, the one question that punches a hole in our claims that everything was by the book and above board, is: ‘Why weren’t Pakistan’s lawyers allowed to cross-examine Kasab?’ Some argue that circumstantial evidence, footage of Kasab gunning people down, and his admissions thereafter were adequate proof. However, Pakistani lawyers (many of whom toe the government line), denied an opportunity to speak to Kasab and record his statement, question India’s claims of due process.
While no objective observer of events would question Kasab’s hanging—which he certainly deserved—it is clear that India failed to fully exploit his capture.
Maroof Raza is a strategic affairs expert on Times Now; E-mail your columnist: razamaroof AT gmail.com
Terrorism is a problem which is social. Children find guns, and kill other children and adults, perhaps fifty of them, at a time. The U. S. cannot do anything about this domestic problem, before it happens. The problem just doesn't have to happen. How can we prevent such incidents? The U. S. is saying, they expect these incidents to happen, when they take such elaborate measures to prevent them, but they expect these happenings from international sources. It appears, domestic incidents of this nature in the U. S., have become very few in number, compared to the past, because of 9/11, and international incidents have been controlled, also. Every act of murder, is seen as an act of terror, it appears, and the phenomenon of children doing what was described above, is an act, which seems to suggest that children want the adults to feel the effect, amplified.
The trouble with the tough narrative on terror is that it leads into a cul de sac. Either today or tomorrow, both nations have to sit down and find a peaceful solution to their problems.
This is the best article that I have read @OutlookIndia for quite some time.
I had given up on finding any common sense at all over here.
Thank You, Maroof!!
Outlook India : Then, There Was None
It’s a fallacy for the govt to assume that by hanging kasab, it showed its resolve to fight terrorism.
Maroof Raza ,as always,is correct in his assessment.But, let him enumerate the steps the GOI should have taken before Kasaab's hanging .
Pakistan still continues to be in the denial mode. Does the former President of India,Ms Pratibha Patil,have much to explain to the nation for withholding Kasaab's execution for so many years during her tenure? The delay only contributed to the cost of Kasaab's upkeep by spending on his boarding,lodging and ,most of all, the security cover. A sum of Rs 65 crores was reportedly spent.
A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)
It appears, the Islamic identity was supposed to fight terrorism within. Apparently, the non-Islamic identity is helping the other side win, within Islam, and within the Islamic person. Kasab seems to epitomise this, and he gave up, that which he believed in, and became stridently against, what he did not believe in. It appears, he still believed in what he believed he did, before. I don't think, that religion defines, what he believed in. Apparently, he thought his action would be more valid in India, than in Pakistan. He didn't think, it would make a difference in Pakistan.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT