The hanging of Ajmal Kasab has led to widespread jubilation across the nation. The satisfaction that justice has been done among relatives of the direct victims of the dastardly terrorist attack on 26/11 is understandable. The sense of euphoria experienced elsewhere is not.
Some considerable time back I had suggested in these columns that Kasab should be offered commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment provided he could furnish adequate evidence that he had been recruited and trained for his mission by sections of the Pakistan government. Had he done that, I had argued, he could be considered a soldier without uniform of the Pakistani state and privy to the Geneva Convention related to army prisoners of war that precludes their capital punishment. In that event the 26/11 terror attack could have been legally considered as an act of war launched by Pakistan against India.
The mindless and heartless politicians who move about these pawns and fail to act with decision and courage against terrorism but continue to deceive a gullible public through cynical politicking are the real guilty ones who deserve to be punished.
This view possibly would be very unpopular. But a sense of proportion is required. One should not exult for removing one pimple when the blood stream continues to be highly contaminated. The symptom should not be confused with the disease. Twenty-five year old Kasab who recalled his “Ammi” on his dying day, who had doubtless been recruited for his mission after his untutored mind had been fed with a false and distorted version of his religion, was as much a victim of villainy as he was the villain.
The real villains are the heartless masterminds who recruit, organize and deploy such terrorists. They are even recruiting children as suicide bombers.
Kasab’s death therefore has achieved absolutely nothing. Arguably, the authorities failed to exploit fully the gains that might have been extracted from his capture. Kasab was a pawn as is Sarabjit languishing in a Pakistani jail facing a possible death sentence. The mindless and heartless politicians who move about these pawns and fail to act with decision and courage against terrorism but continue to deceive a gullible public through cynical politicking are the real guilty ones who deserve to be punished.
The hanging of Kasab, therefore, is of little consequence.