Before I move ahead with a word over this issue, it needs to be set straight that 26/11 was not exclusively for India, but for the entire region one of the darkest day. Terrorism in any form and logic has no justification nor a place. It was tragic how an entire city of millions was made hostage, terrorized and hundreds massacred for a crime of going around their normal routine. The magnitude of the event was highly confrontational, so much that two nuclear armed nations stood at the verge of if not a full out war, but a limited war. Yes, I refer to the words behind close doors in Delhi, Washington and Islamabad of a possible “Surgical Strike” at targets in Pakistan to settle down Indian rage on the street, in line with what Americans were practicing through “CIA Drone”.
History aside, a lot kept on happening and unfolding on both sides with Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor going on trial and later executed for his role in the attack. Don’t perceived me of being partial in my description of the event. Kasab was proven to be from Pakistan with links to banned outfits operating inside Pakistan and this was duly accepted. The bone of contention between Islamabad and New Delhi stood the possibility of sponsorship from any institution or a rogue group from Pakistan, precisely in Indian books the ISI. With the debate turning from bad to worse in Pakistan and India, an American citizen emerged from no where who was established as the missing link. He went to trial under American justice system with all areas of interest investigated duly by the US. Later, it was established that ISI or any other institute itself had no role whatsoever in 26/11, a fact duly protested by New Delhi which in vain demanded the handover of the American to India.
With Kasab execution, over and above it was agreed that India has reached a stage where it believes that the link between ISI and Kasab and his men was nowhere. The inquiry though is still under going both in Pakistan and India.
Simultaneously, there were other voices to the origin of 26/11 which had a base, but neither Pakistan nor any other stakeholder was in a position of investigating or acknowledging their authenticity. 26/11 was very closely associated to the election of a less known and unorthodox President in America, Barack Obama. On the waves of “Change” and “Yes we can”, he had stunned millions in US and across the globe with his blueprint of significant policy change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East and of course Pakistan. To the surprise, his campaign also mentioned Kashmir as an outstanding issue requiring American voice for a peaceful solution, much to the infuriation of New Delhi. Toward another end of the globe Tel Aviv was also uncertain as it was felt that his policy and initiative toward the region might be opposite to the traditional US stance.
26/11 duly established New Delhi into the books of American President and policy makers as a natural ally suffering from the menace of terrorism from Pakistan, and the groups fighting for liberation in Kashmir had no place on the tables of peace for being barbaric and unbearable. Tel Aviv also went ahead with its ground invasion of Gaza over the missiles being fired into Israel, reaffirming its stance to Team Obama over his planned interventions. For the former theory interpretation, it was believed that the manner in which 26/11 was executed had some signals in that direction. India is faced with an uprising, mostly armed in Kashmir for over 6 decades. The Indian forces are well established toward the potential of organizations operating from within and in certain instances across the border. A plan of this extent to go ahead, for insight we have much BOLLYWOOD action on it, was highly unlikely. A group of well-equipped terrorists cross an entire stretch of ocean, land unnoticed, move around to their pre-planned targets and execute their mission without any deterrent was a question on the abilities or intentions of Indian defense apparatus itself. In short, it was duly possible that a segment has put a blind eye on the internal support and external intruders by intention to let this carnage go as planned. This stands a possibility, but one cannot deny the episode of “Samjhota Express” where extremist Hindus from religious pundits to Defense officials collaborating in the massacre of hundreds, mostly Pakistanis to derail peace initiatives from both countries. The top cop believed to have dig the matter was amongst the first causalities of 26/11, a mere coincidence or carefully planned affair?
The page of 26/11 in history has again turned up after confession from an investigator that 26/11 was an “Inside Job”. New Delhi has for the time being placed the matter on the back burner but may be it is time for it to dig deep into the facts surrounding this confession. A thorough and impartial investigation will only add to its credibility, inverse to the aftermath of facts like these being placed on the back burner. I would not only place the entire burden on New Delhi over this initiative. Pakistan in its capacity must go an extra mile in unearthing the missing links, in case they still remain. Collective seriousness and transparent approach between the two neighbors over an event like 26/11 might hold the key to a peaceful and prosperous future for both and the region at large.
Let’s see how things shape up on these new developments on the both sides of the border.