Saturday 27 August 2016
facebook.com/Outlookindia twitter.com/outlookindia digimag.outlookindia.com instagram.com/outlookindia youtube.com/user/OutlookMagazine

Then, There Was None

It’s a fallacy for the govt to assume that by hanging kasab, it showed its resolve to fight terrorism.

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.

Advertisement

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

READ MORE IN:
AUTHORS: Maroof Raza
PLACES: Mumbai
SECTION: National
SUBSECTION: Cover StoriesOpinion
OUTLOOK: 03 December, 2012
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
OUTLOOK ON TWITTER
POLLS

In 1999, India and France entered into a $3.5 billion deal for the supply of these submarines. The first of the 6 subs is out on sea trials for the last three months and is to be commissioned later this year. At this stage, a newspaper in Australia has revealed secret data on the submarines, plausibly stolen from India. Indian Defence authorities have ruled out any pilferage of data from India.

POLL STARTED ON: Aug 26, 2016
Quiz
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016
Advertisement