12 years ago on 26/11, 12 well-coordinated attacks and shootings were carried out for four days by 10Pakistani terrorists on innocent civilians in Mumbai. 174 people including several foreigners were killed and over 300 were injured. But wounds on the national psyche are still live. It was the 9/11 moment for India. Ajmal Kasab was caught and eventually hanged in 2012 after due legal process but he left a trail of evidence and information pointing to the complicity of Pakistan based terrorist groups and his handlers there. Although Pakistani political leadership did condemn the attacks and offered full cooperation no real progress has been made smacking of their complicity or ill-intent . It was not the first time nor the last from our western neighbours which has vowed to inflict 1000 cuts on India.
New Delhi provided all the evidences and documents against the terrorists led by Hafez Saeed of Lashkar e Taiba who roams freely and rather majestically in Pakistan and lives on courtesy state institutions and blessings of successive governments in the so called failed state of Pakistan.
It is a known fact that Pakistan has been a state sponsor of terrorism especially against India and Afghanistan. Their footprints have also been reported from Chechnya to Nagorno -Karabakh. It has given shelter to the largest number of extremists and terrorists and has acknowledged their presence in the country if one were to go by various reports. It was only on 11th November that finally the Pakistani Federal Investigative Agency admitted to the presence of more than 19 Lashkar terrorists in Pakistan who were involved and facilitated 26/11 attacks.Actually, it published a list of 1210 absconding high profile and most wanted terrorists. Strategically it deleted the names of Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar or for that matter Dawood Ibrahim. They are already listed by US and UN and have been operating in the haven of terrorism for decades now. Hafiz Saeed has recently been given a jail sentence ( a picnic really ) for 10 years for terror funding and not 26/11 to please the FATF. But it is a sham, and everyone knows that.Earlier in 2009, Pakistan had admitted that the Mumbai attacks were indeed planned and carried out from LeT camps in Karachi and Thatta. Despite all the information Pakistan refused to take decisive action and prevaricated on one account or the other. Even judiciary was made a pawn in the game by the deep state.
Pakistani leadership had repeated opportunity to come clean and join the ranks of responsible nations but alas the deep seated malaise and rancour against India have blinded them to the extent that they have not only antagonised their Arab benefactors but the others including China who found it difficult to shield them from the wrath of the international community. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has not only continued to place it on the “Grey List” but has reprimanded it for not complying with the most important requirements to stop terror financing networks.
India, which despite several terrorist attacks from across the border or their surrogates, did try to work on bilateral relationship. But every time an effort was made to move forward a more lethal terrorist attack followed be it the Uri or Pathankot. India had no option but to follow a policy of exposing and isolating Pakistan in the international fora as the fountain of terrorism and extremism and haven of radicalisation. One did not have to do much as presence of so many UN proscribed terrorists , for whom Islamabad even sought release of funds for their supposed survival from the UN , is a testament to the terror credentials of a fledging polity in Pakistan.
PM Modi also took upon himself the task of waking the world out of the myopic stupor of “good terrorist” and “bad terrorist” by urging the world to have a unform definition of who the terrorist is? After a long while and constant persuasion India’s proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is finding some traction. It is the single most threat to humanity and its incubators must be dried up by a globally committed joint fight without exception. To defend herself against nefarious designs of the state and non-state actors from across the border India has decided to strike back decisively. Surgical strikes after Uri and Balakot after Pulwama are the vectors of this counter-terror policy. International collaboration though intelligence exchange has increased manifold with majority of our international partners who are equally committed to eradicate this scourge against humanity. India successfully got the Counter Terrorism Strategy adopted at the recent BRICS Summit that clearly includes the nations sponsoring terrorism and non-State actors that often thrive and sustain by their benefactors overtly deriding terrorism in the global fora. Dr Jekyll &Mr Hyde must be exposed.
In its right of reply at the CICA Ministerial Meeting in September against the Pakistani Foreign Minister’s habitual tirade,India clearly exposed them “Pakistan is the global epicentre of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities in India. We advise Pakistan to cease its sponsorship and overt and covert support to terrorism against India. This will enable the two countries to engage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract this important forum from its agenda.”. Choice lies with Islamabad and the Pakistani people who have become collateral due to malicious acts of terrorism perpetrated by their deep state and its surrogates.
India unequivocally condemns terrorism anywhere and believes that there can not be any reason or justification for violence and terrorism against innocent civilians. Most recently India condemned the beheading and terrorist attacks in France and Austria reiterating that there is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstance.When will the justice be done for the victims of 26/11 is still an open question but time is running out for terror outfits from across the border? And if 26/11 indeed gets resolved and justice done perhaps the two neighbours can move forward but “Terror and Talks” can’t go together.
And yet again a week to 26/11 anniversary , Nagrota happened on 19/11 with similar footprints and modus operandi of Pakistani deep state and terrorists of UN proscribed Jaish- e- Mohammed (JeM). Will there be a new Indian response mechanism for continued onslaught of Pak based terrorists remains to be seen as the Government has conveyed to Pakistan that it will take all measures to safeguard its national security in the fight against terrorism.