By K.N. Pandita
On a tip off from Indian Home Ministry, Abu Jindal (pseudonym) was arrested in Saudi Arabia, and deported to India where authorities arrested him and have now also interrogated him in the context of Mumbai attack of 26/11. This is a big achievement, as we are told that Indian Home Ministry had been tracking him down for last one year or more. It appears that from the interrogation of Kasab, there emerged the name of Abu Jindal as a key person who was directing the movement of terrorists in Mumbai while sitting in the control room in Karachi.
In the course of interrogation, Abu Jindal admitted that he was sitting in the control room while terrorists were conducting killing spree in Mumbai and had taken the life of 166 innocent civilians. Apart from this, according to the statement of Home Minister P. Chidambaram in a press conference in Thiruanantapuram, Abu Jindal has revealed significant information about the state actors in Pakistan playing key role in the 26/11 event. This is something which India has been repeatedly saying and demanding that Pakistan hand over all the persons identified as having some link with Mumbai carnage. But Pak authorities are sticking fast to their denial policy.
The harsh reality is that Pakistan’s state involvement in Mumbai carnage and she giving protection to the perpetrators on her soil and also ensuring their safety by adopting the policy of denial, all make it very difficult to mend the fence with that country. Mumbai attack is at the core of all dialogue that takes place between the two countries on any aspect of bilateral interests. Involvement of Pakistani state actors in the carnage is well established even without the revelations made by Abu Jindal. This proves beyond doubt that Pakistan’s loud claim that she is a victim of terrorism and does not allow terrorists a foothold on her soil, is all untrue and misleading. Islamabad wants to throw dust into the eyes of the world forgetting that international community is convinced that Pakistan is the fountain head of terrorism in South Asia and the world at large. For years at end Pakistan went on telling the world that she did not know where Osama bin Laden was. And when the American operation happened, the entire world was shocked to know that Osama was hiding at no other place but in Abbotabad, a city barely a couple of kilometres from the garrison headquarter of Pakistan army. And when the operation of liquidating Osama ended, Pakistan Army and ISI began trading accusations with the civilian government in Islamabad. A huge mask was deliberately thrown on the entire Osama episode and international opinion was misled into believing that defence forces of Pakistan had no prior information and could not pre-empt the commando action. It is now by trickles that the world is getting titbits of that operation which yield the inference that there was perfect understanding between the two super-spy agencies of the US and Pakistan.
Home Minister Chidambaram is right in demanding that Pakistan hand over all those persons to India whose list has been provided to Pakistani authorities and who are suspected of involvement in Mumbai attack. Pakistan has exhausted its denial syndrome and no country in the world accepts it. She went on denying involvement of ISI in Taliban attacks on Indian embassy in Kabul. She went on denying involvement of ISI in boosting Haqqani Group of Afghan Taliban that attacked American establishment in Kabul; she denied ISI killing a Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad; she denies Hafiz Saeed’s role in anti-India mission of Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba and she denies presence of Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan. The world just laughs at Pakistan’s audacity for falsehood.
New Delhi has more than necessary evidence to show that state actors were directly conducting the Mumbai conspiracy, in which 166 persons lost their lives and large properties were damaged. Those listed by India for their involvement in the episode but are hiding in Pakistan are the enemies of humanity. A sincere conviction of fighting terrorism would have prompted Pakistani authorities to hand over the culprits to India without demanding. There is no relenting in Pakistan’s anti-India mission; there is no relent in attempting to disrupt peace in Kashmir and there is no relent in keeping bilaterally strained relationship unresolved. India should make a serious revision of her policy of persisting with bilateral dialogue with Pakistan after the ouster of Yousuf Reza Gilani. The ousted PM had made the process of dialogue with India an instrument of blunting the sharp edge of Pakistani Army. But a “judicial coup” was affected in Pakistan to derail the process of confidence building measures. The matter of Sarabjeet Singh’s release from Pakistani jails is of deep concern to Indian civil society.