In the run-up to the first anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, we have been fed with a lot of news and untold stories. We all wait for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to be punished. Victims’ families have demanded that Ajmal ‘Kasab’ be sent to the gallows.
We remember the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 every year, hoping that the perpetrators will be punished; we are about to observe the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy, the victims of which are yet to get justice; and we are yet to see those who brought the Babri Masjid down in 1992 punished. The Mumbai attack is just one year old. I hope justice will be done in all these and other pending cases in my lifetime.
The enormous delay, thanks to the vexatious legal process, in meting out punishment to ‘Kasab’ goes to prove that justice delayed is justice denied. Justice delayed emboldens terrorists like ‘Kasab’ to foment terror in India. As long as the U.S. pumps dollars into Pakistan to tackle the Taliban, India will continue to bleed. The Obama administration needs to take a comprehensive view of things and stop arming Pakistan.
Kasab’s trial is proceeding according to the law. However, the delay in finalising what is essentially an open and shut case amounts to running a big risk. What if some desperados kidnap an important, or even unimportant, Indian and demand his release? Speed is of the essence in sensitive matters.
‘Kasab’ has admitted his role in the 26/11 attacks. All evidence and eyewitness accounts have confirmed his involvement and that of his masters in Pakistan. Why, then, are we making him feel at home, providing him comforts like Urdu dailies and biryani? I hope the trial does not end up as a sordid joke.
November 26 is one of the most hated days in the memory of Indians, not only because of the terror attack on Mumbai but also due to the insensitivity of the media. The media covered the NSG operation live to raise their TRP ratings but at a huge cost — security.
One year on, they should refrain from spreading fear in the minds of people. If they don’t, they will ensure that the objective of those who struck terror last year is fulfilled.
It is tragic that while all terror-related evidence leads to Pakistan, its government doesn’t seem to be seriously engaged in tracking the sources within its territory. Amazingly it has been left to Spain, the U.S., Italy and India to unearth the conspiracies hatched on its soil. Even after the arrests and follow-up in the other countries, Pakistan is unwilling to go after the terrorists in the country.
Had it mounted a serious campaign to eradicate the cancer within its territory after getting leads on 26/11 from abroad, the trial would have been meaningful.
Two articles in The Hindu stand out. The article “A year after Mumbai: the global battle of ideas” (Nov. 23) points to the perverted genius of Pakistan which holds a gun to its head, threatening the world with dire consequences if it is allowed to collapse. This allows it to play the victim and the aggressor.
The other article, “Proceedings still in pre-trial stage in Pakistan” (Nov. 24), shows the extent to which the establishment is willing to shield the culprits of 26/11. Does New Delhi really have the ability to out-manoeuvre the chess players in Rawalpindi?
Sriram Chandra Damaraju,
This refers to the article “The Mumbai attacks and Indo-U.S. relations” (Nov. 24). A year after 26/11, there has been some change in India but there have been many changes in Pakistan. Suicide bombings have become an everyday affair, U.S. interference in Pakistan’s internal politics is more than ever, and the Taliban’s resurgence on both sides of the Durand Line has made the complex regional equation an incomprehensible one.
Given America’s eagerness for a safe and early exit from Afghanistan, its willingness to enter into a power-sharing pact with the Taliban and the brotherhood between the Pakistan-based “Kashmir groups,” it is too early to say whether the U.S. definition of “terror” will remain the same as ours.
Mumbai was a wake-up call. The maritime domain was used for a carefully thought-out and significant attack. This is a new phase in warfare and we must evolve a political, military and ethical approach to fight it.
Vigilance is paramount if a repeat of 26/11 is to be avoided. We need to be alert, take intelligence warnings more seriously, create an outer layer for strategic intelligence, install closer inshore systems for automatic identification, keep a watch on the traffic passing in the maritime domain, have random patrolling and deploy transponders on fishing vessels.
Commodore Mukund B. Kunte,