Three epochal years have passed since November 26th, 2008, when ten engineered Jehadis from our neighbouring country descended on our land and perpetrated a bout of hitherto untold and unheard destruction in Mumbai. The outcome was quite severe: more than 165 Indians perished, hundreds injured and thousands were left without their near ones. The assault on the symbol of  rising economic power of India was audacious.

Terrorists, trained by radical elements within Pakistan army and ISI, kept hold of the major spots quite efficiently for nearly two days.  This terrorist act was different from others in the sense that for the first time five star hotels, railway station, and religious centre of Jews were targeted. Response of our security forces was commendable, even more commendable was the job done by Mumbai police which with their primordial rifles  fought the ultra-advanced arsenal of the tormentors of Mumbai quite bravely.

But three years after that fateful day, the sentiments of Indians stand betrayed. Not much has been done by our government to punish the real conspirators  of 26/11. I won’t be exaggerating if I say that nothing substantial has been done for achieving the same.  Let’s see how.

It’s a well accepted fact, even  by the international community, that the conspirators of 26/11 had tacit  operational, functional and moral support of elements within ISI and Pakistan army. Quite a few American lawmakers have accepted this openly on and off  the records. But, what has been done by their government for  making right, the wrongs done by them in the handling of the case of David Coleman Hadley?

Its quite imperative that if law enforcing and investigating agencies of USA  had acted with greater responsibility, they might have averted or at least alerted Indian agencies regarding the impending plan. But, the fact is that they did nothing. People sitting here in India may blame US for their double standards, but unfortunately what Indian government has been doing since that bilateral declaration with Pakistan at Sharma-Al-sheikh is not much different.

Engaging Pakistan civilian government in talks with India is an exercise that is destined to result in a utter fiasco. Any dialogue with Pakistan can’t be successful without taking on board the opinions and views of fundamentalist mullahs of Pakistan and their  army.

History has taught us something which justifies my contention: Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India during Lahore declaration of 1999, initiated much acclaimed peace talks with Pakistan, where on the other hand its army chief was preparing for an onslaught in Kargil.

Pakistan government talks of being a victim of terrorism when, its army is itself training terrorists in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Unfortunately,for no fault of theirs,  sceptics  believe that  its Pakistan army which has a final say in all matters pertaining to India, which is fundamentally true. The recent memogate scandal is just another example which shows the upper hand of army via-a-vis civilian authorities. So, whats the use of all these Sharma-al-Sheikh, Thimphu, Maldives and cricket match diplomacy?

Pakistan army was involved with 26/11 and talks alone can’t bring justice to the victims. At least for the sake of rhetoric alone Indian government should take a stout stance in bilateral talks where  issues related to 26/11 take a prime stage.

 Kasab, the lone captured attacker is still going through the labyrinth of complex structure of our judiciary. Cynics say that Kasab has been made a scapegoat while his masters  are still at bay A sense of triumph may soon engulf India when he is ultimately convicted by our honorable Supreme Court, but the triumph of justice won’t be completed until and unless Hafiz Muhammad Saeed amir of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah and chief conspirator of 26/11 – is booked for his crimes against humanity.

Unfortunately, our government has not pursued his case vehemently. He can still be heard giving virulent hate speeches against India which should be stopped.

The unpopular fact is: the chapter of 26/11 won’t end by the end of Kasab.

There is no guarantee that acts like this will not be repeated in  future. Government instead of hosting Pakistan dignitaries for cricket matches should concentrate on real issues concerning 26/11. By the way by calling Gilani “a man of peace” at a regional summit by our Prime Minister shows the moral capitulation of our politicians.

The war against  terrorism emanating from Pakistan can’t be won by such feeble postures but by a infallible strategy and a strong political will of the Indian executive.  This approach of “let time heal the wounds” won’t work in a scenario where fight of India is with such a complex alliance of fundamentalists and army.

Lets hope next three years won’t be same like the preceding three.

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Shekhar Sengar

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