Words are not enough: Why Trump’s warning to Pak means nothing to 26/11 case
New Delhi, Nov 28: The United States was quick to announce a reward for those providing information about those involved in the Mumbai 26/11 attack. The obvious names that come up are that of Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
The US has tried to exert a lot of pressure on Pakistan to act against its terrorists and proxies. While it may appear that there is pressure on Pakistan, in reality that is not even close.
Saeed and Lakhvi, no doubt played a huge role in the attack. However there is has been no action against them and the trials in the courts of Pakistan are nothing but a sham. While these are the known faces of the attacks, what about those, who actually run the show from behind the scenes?
Sajid Mir, Major Iqbal just to name a few. These are the men who have done bulk of the work in the background and forget action, Pakistan has not even acknowledged the existence of these men.
Mir is a global player and was the one who coordinated the entire attack. It was he who gave instructions to the terrorists in Mumbai. One of his most chilling instructions were given to the terrorist in the Chabad House, when he ordered the killing of a woman by shooting her point blank in the head.
Mir, according to Indian officials was part of the Pakistan Army, before being moved into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to oversee its international operations. An audacious terrorist, he had even visited India as a cricket fan months before the attack. The actual reason for his visit was to oversee the targets that were meant to be attacked.
Now coming to Major Iqbal. He is an establishment man and was David Headley's intelligence handler. He helped carry out the reconnaissance in Mumbai. Part of the ISI, Major Iqbal was an expert in locating targets and surveying them. The entire operation carried out by Headley was overseen by Major Iqbal. Following the attack, Major Iqbal was promoted and then moved to a new unit in the Army.
While the Trump administration has been quick to show solidarity with India, the big question is what extent will it go upto to actually reign in on the terrorists. India has been seeking a second round of questioning with Headley, but the same was never granted. The National Investigation Agency has been for long pressing for the interrogation of Headley's aide, Tawwahur Rana, but that has not materialised.
The trial in Pakistan has not progressed and both Saeed and Lakhvi walk around free, but the US has not been able to reign in on Pakistan. Further the likes of Mir and Iqbal go about their business with ease, but the US has not been able to do anything about it.
Trump has no doubt taken a confrontational approach on Pakistan. In September the US suspended military aid to Pakistan.
Despite all this, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba continues to pose a formidable threat. Their bosses are out in the open and their terrorists continue to carry out attacks almost everyday in Jammu and Kashmir. The fact is that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba is the most trusted asset of the ISI. There has not been a single instance when the Lashkar has rebelled against the establishment. With the relationship being such, just plain words of caution from the US will just not be done.