Amir Ajmal Kasab and his mates attacked Mumbai on 26th Nov, 2008. These people sailed from Karachi. It is believed that Kasab and party were trained in Pakistan by anti India terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Pakistan’s spy agency ISI. Mandate of Kasab and co was to kill as many people as possible, kill foreigners, kill Jews and Americans. In the process they may die and attain martyrdom. Kasab was the only one caught alive. He went through the judicial process, that concluded with Kasab’s hanging. Now that Kasab has been executed, it is time to ask has anything really changed? Can we predict and prevent future attacks? Unless India learns from her mistakes, it will probably never matter if Kasab remained dead or alive.
I think Kasab has got an early release after his execution. He came here to kill and get killed. He did not show any remorse when caught and tried. If India had kept him alive by life imprisonment, then there will be tax money to feed, clothe and protect him. As Kasab’s execution does not guarantee deterrence against future attack, similarly his survival also does not gurantee any future safety from attack. On the contrary, there will be constant threat of some loony hijacking a plane or bus or any public utility and ask for Kasab’s release as ransom.A case in point is hijack of IC814 to release Masood Azhar who was serving jail term in India.We have seen how our external affairs minister accompanied terrorists to hand them over to Taliban.
Terror is a mindset. It will keep on happening to highlight issues. Unless India is strong and unified, unless our systems are perfected, it does not matter if Ajmal Kasab is dead or alive. Remeber during IC814 hijack, we could not stop the aircraft flying out of Amritsar. We had no policy or operating procedure. After Mumbai attack, it is upto us if we want to stop these loonies in their tracks through advanced intelligence gathering, and facing them headon when they arrive. We must use technology to protect our borders. Do we remember that Ajmal Kasab and party sailed from Karachi to Mumbai without being detected. Mumbai is our headquarter of Western Naval command. What if the terrorists had inflicted damage to Naval base like they did to Mehran naval base in Karachi? What was our naval intelligence doing? How could they not intercept the terrorists who sailed nearly 500 km from Karachi? Why does our navy not have appropriate technology? Strangely an island nation like Britain never faced sea borne insurgency.
We need to remember and respect our forces that give their lives for the nation. Our forces that fight at the forefront are treated poorly. Many are not even given a proper facility to rest and retire, when they guard five star premises. Do we remember Tukaram Omble, a man who sacrificed his life to give Inida Ajmal Kasab? Do we remember three valiant police officers of Mumbai police – Vijay Salasakar, Hemant Karkare, and Ashok Kamte gave up their lives? Do we know police reinforcement did not reach them because Mumbai police was divided along party lines? Do we know the bullet proof vest they were wearing was substandard?
Attack can happen again, unless we learn our lesson and put it into practice. I think it starts with giving autonomy to police. Let head of police force raise his budget and acquire his weapon and gear. Atleast, we can hold him accountable. We cannot do anything to politician who takes cover under election verdict of people who are not affected. Raw courage of brave police officer is good, but we need all officers motivated, equipped and ready to fight as per a standard procedure.