Speaking to the media at the SAARC summit Pakistan ’s Interior Minister Mr. Rehman Malik made three points. He said that Kasab should be hanged for his role as a non-state actor in the 26/11 terror. In the same manner guilty Hindu terrorists should be hanged for their role in the Samjhauta Express blast. And Hafiz Saeed the mastermind of Lashkar-e-Toibah cannot be convicted for lack of evidence. Both Congress and BJP leaders expressed anger over Mr. Malik equating 26/11 with the Samjhauta terror. Are leaders of both parties moronic zombies unaware of the world around them? Or are they prize hypocrites acting out a charade for public consumption? Going by the foundation laid by the Indian establishment regarding terror Mr. Malik was being consistent.
In early January 2011, I wrote in these columns:
“Now India and Pakistan have been put on the same page regarding terror. Therefore both governments can cooperate to fight terror on an equal footing. Is that what the scandalous charade about the purported Swami Aseemanand confession (related to the Samjhauta blast) was all about? Was his confession a crude device to set the foundation for a joint fight against terror? If so, nothing more stupid, self-destructive and demeaning could have been attempted by the Indian government.”
It might be recalled that on more than three occasions earlier I had pointed out that US intelligence and a UN resolution had nailed Lashkar-e-Toibah for having perpetrated the Samjhauta Express blast. The names of four Lashkar terrorists and their financier were given. Lashkar was put on the terror list on account of the Samjhauta blast. Hafiz Saeed as the leader of the Lashkar outfit was also individually put on the terror list. His application for being released from the terror list was summarily rejected by the UN.
The UN resolution to impose sanctions against Hafiz Saeed was blocked by China on the technical ground that India had failed to provide sufficient evidence. All efforts by the US to make China relent were rebuffed. It is in this context that India’s National Investigative Agency (NIA) nailing Swami Aseemanand for engineering the Samjhauta blast must be viewed. How can the NIA’s findings be squared with the US and UN findings? My repeatedly drawing attention to this glaring contradiction was met with a deafening silence by the government, the opposition and the rest of the media. If the UN resolution on Lashkar’s responsibility for the Samjhauta terror has been disproved by the NIA probe, do not the allegations against Hafiz Saeed also fall by the wayside?
Hindu terror has indubitably erupted in Malegaon and other spots. But there was crucial need to also rope in the Samjhauta case to indict Hindu terrorists. In all other cases of Hindu terror the victims were Indians. Only in the Samjhauta Express blast were the victims Pakistanis. To equate Hindu terror with Pakistan’s cross border terror there was need therefore to rightly or wrongly involve Hindus in the Samjhauta case. It was necessary to put India and Pakistan on the same page to facilitate peace talks. That seems to be the only credible explanation for the deafening silence over the glaring contradiction between the findings of the UN and NIA.
Therefore the objections voiced by the Congress and BJP over the Samjhauta terror being equated with 26/11 by Pakistan should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. To this day neither the government nor the opposition nor media has cared to explain how the US and UN findings can be reconciled with the findings of NIA. There is great need to further peace talks with Pakistan. There is need also for both governments to be generous about the past. But it will prove to be stupid and self defeating if a future settlement is based upon false premises. If the NIA probe about Hindu terror being responsible for the Samjhauta Express blast is valid, then the government should be honest enough to contradict the findings of the UN and absolve Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar-e-Toibah of being responsible for the Samjhauta Express bomb blast. To be hypocritical and two-faced does not signify wisdom.