Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Osama's death: Learnings and its Significance for India

Amidst all the headlines and news flashing all over about Osama bin Laden's death in the US-led operation, we must not forget that terrorism does not end with it. Agreed, he was the most wanted man and the only man who had managed to terrify the world for well over a decade. But the man has left his genes and his terror outfit will pick up from there. Al Qaida may not remain the same without its leader but it may come back with a vengeance.
This long and gruesome fight by US to bring the accused of 9/11 to justice did not come easy. It cost the country $1.3 trillion, one decade, innumerable civilian harm and intense international criticism. US clearly proved the point that it could fight to any extent when it came to fighting against any threat to its people. Ofcourse, having deep pockets only helped it.
Now, after Osama's death, world attention has again turned to Pakistan which has long been termed a terrorist haven. India, too, has strongly voiced its concern and appeal to US & the international arena in general and Pakistan in particular.It wants Pakistan to officially accept their presence and handover Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim for their role in 1993 Mumbai blasts and 26/11. But it needs to ask itself a few questions. What does it want to do by taking both of them in custody? Store them in a special cell in Arthur Road jail and protecting them from the world? Fight a very public 'ethical' battle at home of whether to give them lawyers to fight their cases, like it happened in Kasab's case? 'Latkao' the case and going back & forth with chargesheets, challenging verdicts & further appealing to higher courts?
Seriously, is our judiciary capable to pass the judgements and let these cases see light of day at the earliest? Can India use international pressure, which is currently building up on Pak, to its benefit? Or, can it replicate the US model? Lot of questions which need to be answered pronto.
US too did take the risk by attacking a 'sovereign' state and repercussions could have been serious had it gone kaput. But it went ahead with the operation, and rendered justice to its people, in its own way.
It would be appropriate to close by quoting President Obama in his address to his nation and the world about bin Laden's death, "Let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. Justice has been done."