26/11 case: 50% justice done, Pak yet to act

By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Nov 25 (IANS) As India solemnly marks the 12th anniversary of the dastardly terror strikes by 10-heavily armed Pakistani mercenaries on Nov. 26, 2008, full justice eludes the victims of attacks even today.

“As far as the attackers are concerned, India has done full justice in the matter… But that is not enough. We want full justice by trying and booking the prime perpetrators who are presently in Pakistan,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The celeb lawyer, who guided the high-profile case that grabbed global attention, pointed out that the main conspirators and planners like Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are still at large despite being the accused in India.

Significantly, last fortnight, India formally demanded that Pakistan discard its “obfuscation and dilatory tactics in discharging its international obligations” in the 26/11 attacks trial.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said even other countries have called upon Pakistan to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.

“It is a matter of serious concern that, despite its own public acknowledgment as well as the availability of all necessary evidence, including that shared by India, Pakistan is yet to show sincerity in delivering justice to the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe, even as we near the 12th anniversary of 26/11 attacks,” Srivastava pointed out.

Concurring, Nikam said that while “50 per cent of justice has been done” in the case from the Indian side, “but Pakistan has yet to act and fulfil the remaining half” to ensure complete justice to the 166 victims, who included many foreigners, besides the injured.

He said India has provided voluminous evidence provided not only about Kasab but also about David Coleman Headley disclosing close links between the LeT and Pakistan’s ISI, besides “documentary evidence of email exchanges between them (LeT-ISI)”.

“Headley gave the evidence in a Chicago Court, which was accepted and later honoured by even the US Administration after which he was convicted and awarded 35 years jail in a ‘plea bargain’. He is presently serving the sentence in an American jail,” said Nikam.

As per the ‘plea bargain’, India took 59-year old Headley’s evidence by video-conference in Feb. 2018 and it was Pakistan’s turn to record his evidence, or accept the tangible proof provided by India, he added.

Nikam said India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to expedite the 26/11 trial on the perpetrators on its soil, examine the Indian witnesses via video-conference, or send a judicial commission to India to record their statements, but there is no movement so far.

India went a step further and arrested the dreaded terrorist Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal, who manned the LeT terror control room in Karachi and guided the 10 terrorists during carrying out the mayhem in Mumbai from the night of Nov.26, 2008, till the end.

“Abu Jindal has confessed to his role during the actual terror attacks, his links with the LeT masterminds like Lakhvi and other agencies… Unfortunately, despite all this, things have not progressed much on the Pakistan side to do full justice,” rued Nikam.

Currently, Abu Jindal – who was nabbed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on June 25, 2012 – is undergoing trial in a Mumbai Special Court – making it the only case linked to the 26/11 incident pending final disposal.

The positive outcome is that post-26/11, there has not been a single terror strike in Maharashtra, even as Indian central and state security agencies boosted infrastructure and built up muscles during the period to tackle any eventuality in future.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at q.najmi@ians.in)

–IANS
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