Thursday, February 2, 2023

India remembers 26/11

India remembers November 26, 2008, when ten Pakistani terrorists armed, aided and abetted by Pakistani based terror outfit, Lashker-e-Taeba (LeT) later renamed Jamaat-ud-Dawa, arrived by sea route and opened fire indiscriminately at people in Mumbai, killing 166, including 18 security personnel, and injuring around 300 others, besides damaging property worth hundreds of crore rupees. The attackers were trained and armed by Pakistan, through proxy handlers such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jama’at-ud-Da’wah both of which are headed by international terrorist Hafeez Saeed. In less reflective of accounts of the tragedy, 26/11 would be to India what 9/11 was to America. The same community of terrorists who took a vow of jihad were responsible for the dastardly and cowardly attacks in both the countries. The Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists unleashed a series of attacks at several places, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident and the Taj Palace & Tower. Mumbai was under seize for four days(November 26 to 29,2008) before the national security guards killed nine terrorists and captured one alive – Ajmal Kasab. The captured Pakistani terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. He also admitted that he was a Pakistani citizen. He was hanged to death in Yerwada jail in 2012. All evidences pointed to the direct involvement of Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. India wanted the extradition of these killers under international law.However, despite India having provided all the evidences of the direct involvement of Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Pakistan wanted “more concrete evidence” and did nothing. Pakistan enacted a sham trial of Hafiz and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi when the former was set free from house arrest and now back to making inflammatory speeches against India. Zakiur Rehman Lakvi was also granted bail against surety bonds of ₨ 200,000 (US$1,900) in Pakistan. November 26 is a reminder to all Indians and people across the globe of how terrorism is the biggest enemy of humanity in the 21st century. Though 14 years have passed, the wounds of the attack still feel fresh for all countrymen. The attack also woke up the whole world to acknowledge the threat called “terrorism”. For India, this attack made the security officials see the gaping holes in the national security apparatus and led to undertaking a series of measures to strengthen security. In 2008 or even early 2009, India could and should have launched a strike on Pak terror camps to teach the rouge nation a lesson. However, by not doing so, India lost a good opportunity teach Pakistan a lesson on using terrorists against India. The Modi government did not share the Manmohan Singh government’s ‘love your neighbour’ concept when it wasted no time in pontificating about the attack on an Army camp at Uri on September 18,2009. The Modi government okayed the surgical strike by the Indian army on Pakistani terror camps inside PoK on September 29,2016 in retaliation for the Uri incident. China and some Islamic countries continue to provide legality to Pak-sponsored terrorism by blocking efforts by India and USA to ban several Pak terror outfits including their chiefs. This also reveals why it is not easy to tackle terrorism with one voice and action, since there are countries who believe there are good terrorists and bad terrorists. Some within India believe that terrorists are victims of denial of rights and should be tackled a humane approach.

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