In November 2008, India witnessed a terror attack that lasted 66 hours; 10 highly trained and coordinated terrorists came ashore in Mumbai and proceeded to kill 166 Indians and foreigners, almost bringing the two nations to the brink of an all-out war.
On July 10, 2015, in Ufa, Russia, PMs Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi condemned terrorism and agreed to help eliminate the menace from South Asia.
Sharif and Modi in Russia dawn
According to Tariq Khosa, Former DG, FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) Pakistan, both countries should highlight and attempt to stop terrorist activities that have been undertaken to destabilize their neighbor. He pointed out that the botched Samjhauta Express bombing investigation and ‘terror financing’ in Karachi and Fata by Indian agencies need to be addressed by India.
“Pakistan has to deal with the Mumbai mayhem, planned and launched from its soil. This requires facing the truth and admitting mistakes,” he further wrote.
“The entire state security apparatus must ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of the ghastly terror attacks are brought to justice. The case has lingered on for far too long. Dilatory tactics by the defendants, frequent change of trial judges, and assassination of the case prosecutor as well as retracting from original testimony by some key witnesses have been serious setbacks for the prosecutors.”
Khosa states that both India and Pakistan have ‘skeletons in their cupboards’ so instead of fighting, they should own up to past mistakes and find solutions together.
A police officer pays his respects to police and uniformed personnel who lost their lives hindustantimes
He went on to point out that
- Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national,
- that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were given training near Thatta, Sindh, and also launched by sea from there; and the casings of explosive devices recovered in Mumbai matched with the Thatta training camp equipment,
- the fishing trawler used in the attack was painted and concealed in a Pakistani harbor,
- the engine of the dinghy had a patent number which was traced as being imported from Japan and ending up in a Karachi sports shop,
- the Karachi room from where the operation was directed was identified and secured by investigators,
- the alleged commander and deputies were identified and arrested, and
- some foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrest and brought to face trial.
In Pakistan, after a court ruling that consent of the accused should be obtained, and the suspects’ refusal to consent, a plea was submitted before the sessions court to authorize investigators to take voice samples despite consent being lacking. The plea was denied. The same appeal is now pending in the High Court.
Khosa points out that the Mumbai attack was one incident with two jurisdictions and two trials; legal experts need to work together instead of pointing fingers.
In 2009, Indian interlocutors had conceded that Pakistani investigators had done a professional job in the indictment of seven perpetrators of the attack. But Khosa doesn’t want the Pakistani authorities to forget that the FIA declared various other facilitators and operatives as fugitives. Missing links, he states, will need to be uncovered.
He ends by asking Pakistanis, “Are we as a nation prepared to muster the courage to face uncomfortable truths and combat the demons of militancy that haunt our land?” Read the whole article here.