Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the oth erwise innocent looking face in the midst of travellers thronging Mumbai, turned out to be the unforgettable symbol of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Sentenced to death, the verdict is being termed as a conclusion to one of the fastest trials' in a terror case in India; but the evil root of 'Jihadi terrorism' continues to flourish not so far from the country.
Pakistan's history of using Kalashnikovs and attacks such as these to terrorise and enforce its right on Jammu and Kashmir has taken a toll now on the entire country.
Almost two decades ago, Pakistan gave arms training to Kashmiri Muslim youth who crossed over to POK. Today not just J&K, but all major cities in India are under terror radar of sleeper cells killing people out of 'lust for blood'.
Unfortunately, over the years the communal turned pseudo-secular Kashmiri separatists grab the headlines while the plight of the innocent terror victims remains a non-issue. It isn't the so-called Azadi that the people of Kashmir desire. They long for an immediate crackdown on terrorists, an end to the separatist elements and those unbearable puppets in the Valley all for normalcy to return and development of the state.
Though sidelined for now, the political patronage they enjoy could soon take the voices from the Hurriyat and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) spreading propaganda of terror and hatred to the frontlines of politics.
Ambassador Harriet Winsar Isom former United States Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan quoted recently through a study by an NGO that 3/4th of people in Pakistan of all shades and grades believe that they first are Muslims and only second feel as Pakistanis. She further observed that this makes it easy for the Islamic organisa tions involved in hard-line terrorist and Jihadi activities in Pakistan to attract the support on all levels. We all know how Muslims have been recruited from various parts of Islamic World to be trained and transported to Afghanistan and Kashmir as non-state actors but with a covert support of established Pakistani Institutions like ISI and Military.
Now that it has started biting Pakistan, they are now crying foul against these players in a new brand name of nonstate actors (a crude lie) and Pakistan is attempting to wash their hands off this murky trade. Pakistan brands them as foreign terrorists beyond their control. Can a civilised society and world accept such lame excuses? Ambassador Isom's words find echo in the recent arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30year-old naturalised citizen of Pakistani descent and his reported confession that he planned the failed bombing at Times Square, New York. The world should take note, and hard look at the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is emerging as the new and sinister face of global Islamist jihad and its links with Jamaat-udDawa.
Bomb blasts on the streets of Pakistan are as common as encounters in the Kashmir valley today. Ambassador G. Parthasarthy, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan believes it isn't hidden anymore that the democratically elected government of Pakistan has much lesser role in decision making on India as compared to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi.
General Kayani's long-standing links with terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba from his days, as the Commander of the 12th Infantry Division in Murree over a decade ago cannot be easily ignored. Moreover, he has recorded to have described Afghan Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who masterminded two terrorist attacks on our Embassy in Kabul, as a "strategic asset".
It is understandable that India is under pressure from United States for talks with Pakistan and as well troop reduction from terrorism infected Kashmir. The pertinent question is How long would it take the Taliban to conquer Kashmir if Indian troops were withdrawn?
At the same time it is opening the channels of communication to demonstrate to the world its openness to peace while the constant rigidity from the other side; even though India has miserably failed to capitalise on this opportunity. Little purpose is served while talking to civilian leadership of Pakistan when in reality it has no control over the 'cross-border terrorism'.
The need of the hour is for Pakistan to establish its sincerity. It has to stop living in this denial mode for things to move further in a positive direction. Peace cannot be achieved merely by civil society debates, media campaigns and ignorance towards the 'root cause'. The need of the hour is a world-wide diplomatic offensive by India to expose the direct involvement of Pakistan in terror operations and its abatement to violence. India has to demand vocally for Pakistan to dismantle its infrastructure of terrorism before the dialogue process can be taken ahead, if at all.
While India celebrates the conviction, matters haven't been resolved as Kasab's masters across the border ponder over recreating more such merciless massacres. In February 1984, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) terrorist Maqbool Bhat was hanged after his clemency petition was quickly forwarded through the Indira Gandhi Government and rejected by the President of India. The state back then showed its tough stance against the terror machinery. The unanswered question today after the death penalty pronounced on Kasab is that when actually will we see justice delivered on ground. Will Kasab meet his fate soon or will he survive on Indian Governments mercy, just as the way Afzal Guru, the architect of the Indian Parliament attack continues to stay all these years?
The Government of India perhaps needs to dwell into the statecraft of the great philosopher Chanakya in this 21st century and be motivated to act as was Chandragupta Maurya by Arthashastra.
Kashmir born Aditya Raj Kaul, is the India Editor of 'The Indian' newspaper pub lished from Sydney, Australia