Admission under duress
The truth has been admitted at last, albeit under duress. Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khwaza Asif has admitted, at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, that Hafiz Saeed, now under house arrest, can pose a ‘serious threat’ to his country. Ignoring the obvious understatement that the terrorist can be a threat (not that he is), one has to ask the question: why has Pakistan taken nine long years to admit that the mastermind of the serial terror attacks on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, which killed 164 people and injured 308 others, is, indeed, a ‘serious threat’ to Pakistan itself. As leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Saeed was the mastermind not only of 26/11 but also of a series of subsequent terror attacks on India. He is also the chief of another terror outfit, Jamat-ud-Dawa which renamed itself as ‘Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir’ as soon as Saeed was placed under house arrest.
It may be recalled, that India has given Pakistan a whole lot of incontrovertible proofs to establish the direct complicity of Saeed in 26/11. But Pakistan has all through rejected the evidence and called it insufficient to take action against the terrorist. Obviously, this belated and unwilling admission now has come under tremendous pressure from the America of Donald Trump. But the admission is incomplete and hypocritical. Pakistan still has not admitted and will never admit that it was the Pakistani State that spawned, trained, financed and armed all the terror outfits operating from the soil of Pakistan in the guise of ‘non-State actors’. What Pakistan has done is too little and too late. Whether it is an attempt at fooling the world will be known in the coming days, depending on whether there will be more terror attacks on India and Afghanistan.
The belated action against Saeed has also exposed the pathetic impotence of India in forcing Pakistan to act against its home-grown terror leaders and groups who target neighbouring countries. India cannot even destroy the terror camps existing right across the LoC in PoK. Any other country in India’s position would have retaliated massively on the very first day and liquidated all the bases from which the terrorists operate. India’s military strength is going up rapidly. Nuclear submarines, Agni missiles of six thousand plus km range, submarine-based ballistic missiles (SLBMs) like the K-4 with a range of 3,500 kms and other acquisitions will be of little value if they cannot deter our naughty neighbour from violating our borders with impunity year after year.