Kasab’s death sentence

Published: February 21, 2011
The verdict should have come as an opportunity for India to put the devastating terror attack behind them

The verdict should have come as an opportunity for India to put the devastating terror attack behind them

In upholding the death sentence handed down to Ajmal Kasab for his involvement in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court has unsurprisingly made the correct and obvious decision. The preponderance of evidence against Kasab was so damning, including telephone conversations and CCTV footage, that even the most committed conspiracy theorist would find it impossible to exonerate Kasab. Anyone pleading for mercy should remember that 156 people were killed in the attacks and Kasab was given more than ample opportunity to defend himself in a fair and open trial. Kasab can still appeal his verdict in the Indian Supreme Court and appeal for clemency from the Indian president, although neither of these options is unlikely to lead to relief.

The verdict should have come as an opportunity for India to put the devastating terror attack behind them and get some measure of closure. Thanks to Pakistan, though, they have been denied even that. While Kasab might be facing capital punishment, his patrons and the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), are still operating freely in Pakistan. The courts in Pakistan released the LeT leader, operating under the Jamaatud Dawa banner, Hafeez Saeed from house arrest in 2009 and the government seems reluctant to file charges against Saeed. During the recent flood, the Jamaatud Dawa was given a free hand to carry out relief work, further bolstering their popularity.

Given that the LeT was formed with the help of the army and the intelligence agencies and that it received funding and logistical support from them, there is a justifiable fear that Pakistan is still hoping to use the terrorist organisation as a tool in its geopolitical strategy. It is no secret that the military still sees India as Pakistan’s chief long-term threat. Even with terrorism ravaging the country, it would not be a shock if the military establishment was nurturing and protecting the LeT for future use. If that is indeed the case, all the recent peace overtures between the two countries will came to naught. And we will have no one but ourselves to blame.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (16)

  • sandy
    Feb 21, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Thanks for this direct and honest editorial. Keeps one’s hope alive that sanity is not yet fully lost from your land. Do you guys run an urdu edition? Pls carry the same piece there too.Recommend

  • khalid
    Feb 22, 2011 - 12:44AM

    who cares we need more aid from america and loans
    from imfRecommend

    Feb 22, 2011 - 1:24AM

    “that even the most committed conspiracy theorist would find it impossible to exonerate Kasab”

    Wow ,you are trying to Justify that if this Evidence is not there than Pakistan has chance to exonerate his citizen in creating Heavoc in INDIA??/

    This is what it comes to Pakistani psych ??/ Terrible

    No it is not going to be closure for India or Victims of this Ghastly act. Pakistan still has to fullfill its international OBLIGATION to Punish its SO CALLED NON STATE ACTORS.

    Problem here is that ,Unwillingness of Pakistan to take action against perpetrator of this terror act , Had cost them enormously on intl level ,with some other known terror connection in UK and US ,Spain. Pakistan image in intl arena is at bottom,

    I know it is difficult to act against this so called Non state actor ,But for Pakistan govt has to take some difficult decision to survive pakistan ,It is country on stake ,You can sacrifice one Hafeez Saeed , What is more important for Pakistan ,Is it Pakistan Itself or Terroist like Hafeez Saeed????

    Time will tell Recommend

  • Raja
    Feb 22, 2011 - 7:04AM

    I have never seen such an honest editorial on India-Pakistan disputes in any Pakistani Newspaper EVER.

    Hats off to you editors! Thanks.

    Usually my posts here are along the lines of Pakistan Murdabad.

    Today after reading this editorial, as an Indian I want to say “Pakistan Zindabad”.Recommend

  • ani
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:07AM

    Impressed by your honsety and grasp of the issues. There is a ray of hope – a tiny opening yet in a land consumed by growing forces of darkness. You should consider launching an Urdu edition of your newspaper. Recommend

  • Wow
    Feb 22, 2011 - 10:04AM

    ET rocks again !! You are always as blunt as an editor should be
    Grand salute to you Pakistan will have to abandon terror otherwise it will be next Afganistan

  • muhammad fajim
    Feb 22, 2011 - 10:31AM

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    It is good to see that other countries will punish our religious barbarians when we have decided to treat them as heroes in our own country.We throw rose petals,give valentine day gifts to our murderers.

    The murderer mumtaz qadri & the satanic grin on his face both need to be removed from the face of the earth to make it a better placeRecommend

  • Rohit
    Feb 22, 2011 - 12:51PM

    Your honest editorial and recent apologies my our loved singer Rahat fateh ali, does give us hope of improved days ahead.

    I just went through nation.com.pk & pakobserver.net. First just mentioned it as a news, second dint bother to make it a news.

    Rahat fateh ali apologized to Indian audience for his mistake and we are ever willing to forgive him.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Feb 22, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @ ET, Editorial Board

    Sir, this is exactly the reason I visit ET, a ray of hope is found here. Also I am not writing this because you favoured India in this article, you spoke the truth. Best wishes and continue your good services.Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Feb 22, 2011 - 1:31PM

    This editorial bolsters my hope that there are sane people in Pakistan and I hope one day their voice is heard. Live and let live.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Feb 22, 2011 - 1:33PM

    Mumbai is the sour point in Indo-Pak relations, infact many Indians (including me) concluded that ‘enough is enough’ after that fiasco, its our nation’s high priorities such as poverty, education, infrastructure,etc. which prevented us from retalition. So, we have no other option other than encouraging rare sane voices like ET in Pakistan, but it should not be taken as weakness. Recommend

  • Mohamed Rifaye
    Feb 22, 2011 - 1:56PM

    Mr Editor : Rightly Spot on. This is exactly what we have been shouting over the years. However, it goes to deaf ears, yet we didnt give up. Once pakistan give up terrorism as a strategic way to deter India and its progress, then all outstanding issue can be resolved on tables, rather than battle field. This one big faith that pakistan establishment need to put on, and the rest will fall in place.The only healment to our wounded hearts is take some punitive action against the masterminds of mumbai. just punishing kasab isnt only way forward, he is pawn in the hands of poweful kings. they will create hundreds of kasabs,in any given day. We hope to build a relationship like Indo- Bangladesh. bangladesh only a place for more india focused terrrorism, today has rooted out all form of terrorism from their soil, and what we see today is two progessive states side by side with mutual love and respect

    Extremist element like LeT , JuD are not only a big threat to pakistan or india, they are big threat to the exisitence of Islam. Being a muslim myself, that such a extremist view has overshadowed the real message of Islam and our beloved messengers hadiths.

    I hope such sense and sensibility prevail across both the borders, and tranquility is what we will breath every day, and love is what we bestow upon each other.Peace !Recommend

    Feb 22, 2011 - 3:49PM

    An excellent editorial by all standards and to be fair to ET, the daily has always presented unbiased views and apt analysis on all sensitive issues relating to both countries. However 26/11 continues to be the most sensitive issue and will not be forgotten by India until the guilty are brought to book by the Pak government. The ferocity of the attack, use of latest technology and disclosures made by David Headley points the needle of suspiction towards involvement of the Pak army, intelligence agencies and Navy in training of LeT attackers. No wonder, the case is going on at a very slow pace and master minds are likely to be freed shortly, which will not be taken lightly by India. Nevertheless, the doctorine of using LeT and other outfits for covert operations and political purposes is going to be counter-productive in the long run and will surely result in more bloodshed and instability in Pakistan. Recommend

  • harkol
    Feb 22, 2011 - 6:25PM


    Here is saluting you for an edit piece that may not be very pleasing to the ruling establishment in Pakistan.

    While India is blamed for not having talks with Pakistan, India’s fear that should it begin talking again another Mumbai can occur is very real, considering the fact that LeT, JUD and many such alphabet mixes are very alive and thriving in Pakistan. Why should India loose more innocent lives, just to put on a show of talks?

    Afterall, The pakistan govt. has rejected the ground covered under Musharaff, and India will not concede anything that requires change in borders or constitution. What would be gained by talk for talks sake, when another attack is all but certain if we start talking again?

    It is a sad state of affairs. We were all so thrilled and I had tears in my eyes when we saw what a moderate Muslim society in Egypt did recently and put up fierce resistance to gain control of their country.

    Looking forward to a day, when Moderate Pakistani’s do the same to their military establishment. I am sure the trouble between our nations will disappear soon after, as issues like Kashmir and Islam won’t lead to a better day for Majority of Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Srinath
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:36PM

    Kudos for the most objective editorial I have come across in Pakistani Press.It is such write-ups which enhance the credibility of ET among its global readers. Recommend

  • Feb 23, 2011 - 12:35AM

    What can I say that hasnt already been said…you must be smiling broadly at all this praise. But you deserve it. Recommend

More in Editorial