Kasab's conviction must not lead to complacency(Article)

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New Delhi, May 6 (ANI): Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist caught alive in the aftermath of the 26/11 terrorist attack at Mumbai has been found guilty of 80 out of 86 charges by the special court of Judge ML Tahilyani and has been sentenced to death.

The trial that was completed in a record 525 days has been hailed as a triumph for of the Indian judiciary since every possible opportunity of defence, including a lawyer, was provided to the accused whose complicity in the terror strike was well established at the very outset.

The fact the two alleged co-conspirators of Indian origin, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, have been acquitted on grounds of lack of evidence adds to the stature of the honourable Court.

The euphoria being generated with respect to the judicial process and the high moral threshold attained by Indian democracy are justified.

However, this is an apt time to determine whether we are more secure and better prepared now than we were when the attack took place.

P Chidabaram, who took over as Home Minister after the debacle, has worked hard to revitalize the internal security apparatus of the country.

His effort deserves appreciation, but the attack on the German Bakery at Pune serves as a grim reminder of the fact that we are a long way from attaining foolproof security.

The pressure exerted on Pakistan in the aftermath of the attack had a salutary effect for some time.

The country put a top commander of LeT, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, under arrest and some effort was made to contain the activities of terrorist groups targeting India. Unfortunately, subsequent events and action bear testimony that the efforts were temporary face-saving gimmicks.

Top leaders like Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin and Mohd Azgar are not only roaming free, but are also propagating anti-India sentiment with impunity.

On February 6, on the occasion of the so-called Kashmir Solidarity Day celebrated every year across Pakistan, the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa was allowed to hold public rallies in Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Banners in support of Jihad were openly hung along the Mall Road in Lahore and CD's in favour of Jehad were freely distributed.

None other than Hafiz Saeed whose arrest has been repeatedly demanded by India addressed the participants. All this was happening just a few days after the proposal for foreign secretary level talks was mooted at the behest of none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, this not an exception but a common place happening in Pakistan.

Many precious lives have been lost in the last few months due to aggressive bids by terror organizations operating, in concert with the Pakistan Army, to increase infiltration along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir and to revitalize terror groups operating within the state.

Terror is terror, and while articulating its effect, no distinction can be made between Mumbai and Kashmir or any other part of the country.

Kasab got what he deserves, but the challenges that the country faces due to export of terrorism from Pakistan will not abate with his conviction.

In fact, we have to be prepared for a possible retaliation. Pakistan's professed determination to stop the proliferation of terror from its soil is no more than lip service, and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is testimony to this fact.

Under the circumstances there is no room for complacency while addressing internal security challenges. By Jaibans Singh (ANI)

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