By K.N. Pandita
The hanging of Ajmal Kasab is a matter of deep introspection for the people of Pakistan, especially the poor, deprived and economically weaker sections of that society. It is these segments of society whose poverty and destitution diehard religious zealots exploit in the name of Islam. They drag their innocent teenagers first to be put in dark and dingy cells of the seminaries for total brain washing, and then to terrorist camps where they are told to kill and get killed for the sake of the faith.
While these innocent urchins not knowing why they are told to hate and kill others are steadily pushed towards the abyss of destruction and decimation, the wards and dear ones of their mentors enjoy the free and colourful life in the nightclubs of western countries.
In this business of trading human heads, all religious zealots are united and unequivocal. Islam, we are told, is a religion of peace. But the budding Muslim youth in these seminaries are exhorted to make violence an article of their faith. For the purpose of preparing their indoctrinated class of followers for premature and by all means ignoble death, they are told that the huris and ghilman are waiting to receive them with open arms in the paradise, lined with streams of honey and milk for the faithful to drink deep and feel vindicated. Thus for a few thousand rupees, the poor and famished families sell their dear ones to the traders of death and destruction with Islam as their catchword.
It is time that impoverished parents, whose wards have attained “shahaadat” in the words of their mentors, seek answer to many questions. “The killing of one innocent man is tantamount to killing the entire humanity,” is what the holy Prophet has said. In the light of this noble thought, what would the ulema say when a group of ten jihadis, fully indoctrinated with religious teachings, kills 166 innocent men, women and children? If their jihad is directed against the heathens, infidels and non-Muslims, the large number of their victims in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage included people of all faiths, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jews and Muslims. Which Islam were these terrorists and their LeT supremos following?
Pakistani society has been held hostage by the terrorists who are spraying bullets with impunity on whatever does not suit them. These terrorists are the creation of their army and spy agencies. They profile India to them as number one enemy. What India did in regard to Kasab was to examine his case for nearly four long years at a cost of over 50 crore rupees. Judicial procedure of prosecuting an accused killer was met to the last word. His intended murder of innocent people was established and the law took its normal course. But what ordinary Pakistanis ought to ruminate is who actually their enemy is? They have to ask whether killing innocent people in a neighbouring country is going to pull them out of poverty and deprivation. Did the heartless killing of innocent people in Mumbai bring about a radical change in their economic life? No it did not. What changes life for better are planned development, trade, peace and good relations with neighbours. They need to ask themselves whether Pakistani authorities are working towards this end.
Pakistan is a state highly inimical to its own people. This is because a particular group of people in that society has grabbed power by building nexus among the vested interest. When Kasab was arrested in November 2008 and India told Pakistan government that this terrorist came from Faridkot in Punjab, the Government in Islamabad denied he was a Pak national. When India informed Pakistan of LeT’s involvement in hatching the Mumbai carnage conspiracy in Karachi, she denied it. When Pakistani print and electronic media came to know that the arrested terrorist was from Faridkot, Pakistan pressmen rushed to the village to interview his parents. To their consternation they found that Kasab’s family members were hastily and secretly removed from their home in the darkness of the night and taken to some unknown place. Media persons were not allowed to meet their neighbours and inquire from them why was the family taken away and hidden from the press. When on November 20, 2012 Indian mission in Islamabad wanted to hand over a note to the Pakistani foreign office, the latter refused to accept it. The note also contained a message from Kasab for the family (mother). Pakistan government refused to accept or forward Kasab’s message to his family (mother) thus keeping in place its denial mood. Pakistan government did not respond to India’s question whether it would be prepared to take the dead body of Kasab after he was hanged. A country that had been lionizing its jihadis as heroes and fidayeen of Islam is so coward and anti-people that it refused to take the dead body of one of the “Islamic martyrs” and give it a befitting burial. And still the government in Islamabad calls them “non-state actors”.
The story does not end there. Soon after the news of Kasab’s execution was known by Pakistani media, press and television people rushed to Faridkot to interview the people of the village and the neighbourhood about their reaction to the event of Kasab hanged on Indian soil. But the media persons were surprised to see a large posse of Pakistani intelligence sleuths clothed in plain clothes obstructing them from moving to the village. Some of the media persons were even manhandled by the plainclothes security men. Thus Pakistani media was forced to observe a black out on the reaction of the people on Kasab’s execution. The simple inference is that the media persons, if they were allowed to meet with the villagers, would have heard a long litany of anti-government stories and reproduced these in the press and media. With the purpose of camouflaging the entire episode, the intelligence personnel had dressed themselves up in the attire of village folks so as to make them appear as local villagers objecting to media persons.
In this piece we have not dealt with the story of how, when and where the conspiracy of Mumbai carnage was hatched and who were the main actors. Much of this part is already known to the public. We hate the capital punishment as well as a matter of human value. But we very explicitly prompt ordinary people of Pakistan to do some deep introspection, and seek an answer to the question who actually are their enemies to fight against and sacrifice their lives for. For whom did Kasab go to the gallows in Yerawada jail, is what they should ask Islamist religious crusaders like Hafiz Saeed.