27.4.10

Kasab’s Kangaroo Coteries

Kasab’s kangaroo coteries
by Farzana Versey
April 27, 2010

How does a fall guy become a bone of contention? Ajmal Kasab has reiterated my belief that Pakistan-India relations are based on hallucinations.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has handed over the arrest warrants of Kasab and Faheem Ansari and wants India to share intelligence information. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Washington that if Pakistan brings “the perpetrators of the horrible crime of 26/11 to book...we would be very happy to begin talking once again about all issues.”

Was it the first “horrible crime”? There were instances of Pakistan violating the ceasefire line along the LoC. Did we decide to stop talks because of that? Where were the junket junkies who run the enterprise of borrowing sugar daddies from the neighbour? Why was there no pressure from Saint Hillary then? The US has always wanted a foothold in Indian affairs and this was its great opportunity. India realised the benefit of a subtle partnership since we have an arsenal of expats that pulls the strings, along with influential local industrial houses.

The media, too, refers to the event as a “big ticket terrorist attack” to pamper the Indian Popcorn League. Recently the Mumbai police commissioner appealed, “We would want the citizens to come forward in bigger numbers and be alert about any suspicious movements. This will assist the police in combating terrorism.’’ The state director general of police said, “Every Indian must rise above regionalism and religious communalism.’’ The latter comment was uncalled for, especially in a city that is targeting immigrants from other states. As for assisting the cops, I am against citizen vigilantism as it creates groups of vested interests and alarmists.

On April 8, a report mentioned a prank call made to the Taj Mahal Hotel by a nine-year-old “fixated by images of 26/11”. The kid warned that the hotel would be blown up at 10 PM. What is surprising is that no staffer dialled back the number visible on caller ID and the cops did not bother to trace the call. Instead, the bomb disposable squad sweep-searched the place and blocked access to the hotel. The caller was from Assam and the family had stayed at the Taj last year when the boy, fascinated by pictures of smoke clouds, had picked up a business card from the front desk. If such absurdities are possible, then it is a telling comment on the manufacturing of paranoia. Part of our obsession with the 2008 attack has to do with America’s similar obsession with 9/11.

Even the public prosecutor, whose business is to speak for the state and not himself, dramatically declared in court that he was Kasab’s “enemy number one”. When concerned coteries on autopilot mode say, “Hang him!” they are flaunting their neo-consciences like any bauble. Letting him go would mean doing away with a social constituency that is enthralled by this monogrammed phenomenon. He is the voodoo doll we need to aim darts at. That one image of him ambling cockily in his cargo pants holding a gun worked wonders with The Clique. They have a symbiotic relationship, almost like a mutual Stockholm Syndrome. Kasab morphed from village boy – a village no one was sure existed until the Pakistani media got the scoop – to linguist, actor, confessor, and retractor.

He performed impromptu, quite surprisingly without resorting to patriotic jingoism that seems to have not registered with the authorities. If there had been a script, then he should have swallowed a cyanide pill and died. He lived to tell the tale, not of the attack but of the power of piffle. His story is a revelation of the chinks in the armours of both nations.


“vahashat havas ki chaat gaii khaak-e-jism ko
be-dar gharon mein shaql kaa saayaa kahaan se aaye”


- Kishwar Naheed
- - -

Courtesy Express Tribune

15 comments:

  1. ok, so tell us what should be done for kasab?, should he be let free on the premises that he was just an innocent brainwashed uneducated youth, who was miguided into act of terrorism which resulted in death of 170 people and its just 170 people in billion people in india so was doing population control, so hail him as saviour and gime him bharat ratna?.....what do you say.......just look at what you are writing.........

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kasab is a cold-blooded murderer who has been trained in guerilla tactics by the Pakistani army.

    Pakistan's only reasons for asking for Kasab is so that:

    -- He can be silenced off if he is ever handed to Pakistan and then Pakistan can make up more lies about 26/11

    -- Since it is a sure bet that India will not hand over Kasab, Pakistan will use that as a further excuse to do nothing about 26/11.

    Pakistan is not really a country the way it exists, in the sense of Pakistan's government openly acknowledges not only lack of control of its areas but increasingly forbidden zones for the Pakistani army.

    There is some recent charades/shenaningans about fixing the constitution of Pakistan, but I will believe that when the Army chief and the Army obeys Zardari or Gilani...no chance of that yet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FV:"When concerned coteries on autopilot mode say, “Hang him!” they are flaunting their neo-consciences like any bauble. Letting him go would mean doing away with a social constituency that is enthralled by this monogrammed phenomenon. "

    Umm..it all sounds like that only if one has a poor memory of Pakistan's shenanigans. Kasab is crucial and ONLY piece of evidence India has of Pakistan's nefarious designs -- if Kasab dies tomorrow everyone will start pretending 26/11 never happened and therefore Pakistan can wash its hands of its central culpability in 26/11.

    What is Kangaroo in all this is the Pakistani courts that have been delaying taking any action for 26/11 for about 1.5 years now.

    First a judge will go on vacation, then the court will adjourn for one of about 500 lame excuses, then the lecherous Gilani will trot out a request for another Dossier on 26/11 to raise the level of the TV in his living room by a few inches....all meant do deceive naive Indian and Pakistanis.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW, Kasab's rectractions and changing stories are from the training manual of someone who has been trained to disrupt and deceive, and he is a murderer with the blood of dozens of Indians on his hands, which must be remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  5. FV:"Part of our obsession with the 2008 attack has to do with America’s similar obsession with 9/11."

    No, there is good reason for holding Pakistan's feet to the fire on 26/11 -- I know for a fact that they have slimed away from answering for their terrorism against Indians for decades (since the early 80s), and that cannot go on. Being "obsessed" with Pakistan has more to do with elementary survival instincts to secure the existence of India as a nation state and securing the lives of as many Indians as possible.

    The Pakistanis have never wavered from their goal of playing errand boys to world powers in order to make life miserable for India under some pretext or other (J&K, now water, tomorrow it will be some other problem that is their own fault). This has been going on out in the open for decades, and their refusal to prosecute the culprits or do anything about 26/11 is an extension of that behaviour, nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Al:

    Pakistan has accepted the role of its people in 26/11. Obviously, the country will use any tactics - from Lakhvi to Hafiz Saeed.

    If Kasab knew his job, he would have done it well...he literally walked into the trap.

    Our own home minister mentioned local support, a bit late in the day. There is the Headley factor, very crucial. What was our embassy in the US doing?

    And, as I have said so often here, how can we expect the criminal side to provide evidence? Of course, Pakistan will do nothing, although they gave what they had quicker than the time we took.

    Let me assure you, if there is a need to silence him off, it can be done anyway. Look at how the whole attack took place.

    You are right about Pakistan having different power centres. I also believe that they can never be a democracy.

    Do you imagine, though, that the high society that got together has any knowl3edge of what they are talking about? They are interested in the hotel renovation. Kasab is not the only piece of evidence. He is the only one we have and that does not make it the only evidence.

    If Kasab dies, it is unlikely that 26/11 will be forgotten because it gave the elite an opportunity to become concerned citizens.

    I am surprised that you think Pakistan has delayed action. We just finished the questioning of witnesses. Gilani has issued an arrest warrant.

    True Kasab's change of stance is devious. What did you expect?

    Incidentally, why do you and others only remember this event?

    We are obsessed with 9/11 and are mimicking it in every way. It has become a talking point. You point out Pakistan's role and I mentioned in the piece their crossing the LoC. This is the difference. The latter did not give rise to protest groups. Even those mullahs went on rallies against Kasab.

    I had once said Kasab is the new Kashmir. Something that will be kept simmering to earn brownie points.

    This is my POV. Yours is different.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon:

    You either read what you want to read or read what I am writing. The latter takes some effort. My answers are there in the reply below.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "If Kasab knew his job,..."

    Kasab was supposed to get killed -- if it were not for the brave efforts of Constable Omble, who died while grabbing the gun from Kasab's hands. The fellow's smirk during the trial and his contempt for those he had killed in Mumbai is what needs to be kept in mind -- such manifestations are part of psychological conditioning, and one should have as much sympathy for Kasab as one would have for a serial killer who was abused as a child.

    " is the Headley factor, very crucial. What was our embassy in the US doing?"

    Well, this just shows that profiling does not work -- you declare you think all terrorists belong to group X and then next thing is the terrorist know that to be successful they should pretend to be someone outside group X. Realistically, the only thing a citizen can expect is that they tighten regulations NOW, so that this does not happen in the future.


    "And, as I have said so often here, how can we expect the criminal side to provide evidence? "

    Because that is where the crime was planned, implying that main planners of the crime are still in the country, and it is in the jurisdiction of this country, Pakistan, not India. India does not have the jurisdiction to probe any further than it already has without carrying the investigation into Pakistani soil. As simple as that.

    "Of course, Pakistan will do nothing, although they gave what they had quicker than the time we took."

    Well, it is not how fast the response is, but the quality of the response. All they did with the information provided by India was use it to make sure that all trails within Pakistan went cold.

    ReplyDelete
  9. (contd...)

    " there is a need to silence him off, it can be done anyway."

    Not really -- don't think they are not trying. However, this charade of asking for his custody is just another delaying tactic for sure, more than it is an attempt to get their hands on Kasab to silence him forever, which they would be glad to.

    "You are right about Pakistan having different power centres. I also believe that they can never be a democracy."

    It is okay to have diff. power centres, after all Indian state govts. are power centers in India, as long as external entities know that only one center of power is authorized to speak for all...there is no such power center in Pakistan. So who is India supposed to negotiate with in Pakistan, if the Pakistanis pretend to have a democracy but the Prime minister and President pay obeisance to the Army and its interests before national interests?


    "He is the only one we have and that does not make it the only evidence."

    Let me put it this way -- there is no way to spin 11/26 as "past is past" as long as a terrorist responsible for the act still remains in custody. All the other bits of evidence such as sat phone etc. don't make any difference -- Pakistan has been sitting on that evidence and pretending that it is India's fault that dialogue has come to a standstill.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "If Kasab dies, it is unlikely that 26/11 will be forgotten."

    Umm...I don't see how 26/11 can be retained in public memory by pretending that all this talk of 26/11 is "obsessive" and is a charade India needs to get past? I don't see how those two contradictory view points are being reconciled here.

    The Elite are irrelevant -- I was referring tothe international news media which will jump in to pretend that it was high time Indians forgot 26/11. This has happened before and it will happen again if people go around blaming all the wrong entities for the state of the post 26/11 investigation. The blame squarely lies on Pakistani entities that have refused to cooperate in pushing 26/11 investigation from their end, let us make no mistake about that.

    " Gilani has issued an arrest warrant."

    So? Pakistan has a history of "arresting" individuals and then releasing them when no one is looking -- they have been doing this for many years now. Being arrested in Pakistan signifies nothing but more PR value for outside observers like you and I.

    " What did you expect?"

    A person (who snorted cocaine to get the mental state to shoot up innocents with a machine gun) typically faces up to his crimes and repent when he has has a moment to reflect on his acts. His inability and refusal to do so puts into question the mentality of those who brainwashed/conditioned him in this way.

    "Incidentally, why do you and others only remember this event?"

    Sez who? I remember others too --- this is the first event that has everyone's attention (finally!) because Indians have been getting killed for decades, and the typical reaction is to pretend it never happened after some worthless speech about "the resilience of the Indian people will make sure that terrorism does not affect us" -- I have lived through these times you know.

    "Even those mullahs went on rallies against Kasab."

    Firstly, it would be best to look at internal events of each country in the context of where it occurs. Pakistani rallies are scripted by various groups that know the international media is watching, in the same way Indian political groups do "all India Bandh to stop price rise" (as if everyone stopping work for a day will decrease price rise). So I would not give much credence to rallies in terms of trying to understand what is going on.

    "I had once said Kasab is the new Kashmir. Something that will be kept simmering to earn brownie points."

    Well, Pakistan's problem is that it has to either accept that its founding ideology was incorrect and face up to all the crimes against humanity the Pakistani establishment has indulged in, or it has to pretend that it has done nothing wrong and pretend India is at fault....which do you think the Pakistanis will do given their current status?

    "This is my POV. Yours is different."

    Clearly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is the response of the Pakistani establishment to the Indian PM's request to get a grip on LeT and similar terrorist groups.

    http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article413937.ece

    "Asked whether Pakistan was making any efforts to collect evidence against Saeed in connection with terror activities so that he could be tried, Mr. Qureshi vaguely said, “Pakistan has, is and will continue to try and collect evidence against any terrorist. We do not want our soil to be used against anyone.”

    Queried whether it meant that even Saeed would not be allowed to use Pakistani soil against India, he repeated, “anyone... anyone means anyone.”

    He, however, refused to name Saeed specifically despite being asked whether it included Saeed."

    Is there any doubt about whether or not the entire Pakistani government provides cover for international terrorist groups given the above? There is institutionalized support for terrorist groups in Pakistan, which is expected since Pakistan has been using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy for decades.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Farzana stands up for the rights of her countryman...color me surprised...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Al:

    I have said these things often and would be repeating them. I understand what you are saying, but I understand better what I am saying!

    Jokes apart, the international media that you are concerned about got into the act because of OUR ELITE.

    We know about Pakistan's obfuscating tactics. But why are we not willing to discuss any other issues besides this? This is also delaying and dithering tactics that politicians like to indulge in. Even if there are talks and Pakistan says they will do this and that, is there any certainty that terrorism will disappear?

    Arjun:

    Indeed. Hemant Karkare. Read the report about the BP vest scam.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your fellow countryman has been convicted...hope he hangs and then gets buried with pigs..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Get your facts right. Ansari and Sheikh have not been convicted.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.