THE secret execution and burial of Ajmal Kasab, the sole gunman to survive the 2008 tragedy in Mumbai, revives the memory of a senseless but well-planned act of mass murder that brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war. Four years later, many questions still remain unanswered on this side of the border: who were the brains behind the slaughter of the innocent civilians? What did they propose to achieve? Where and how were the gunmen trained and armed? Who brainwashed them into undertaking that ignoble mission? Who provided the operational facilities, including the boat journey to the Indian port? And why did these activities go unnoticed in Pakistan? Subsequently, the authorities in Islamabad acted to establish facts that distanced the state from the work of a few fanatic killers. But that doesn’t serve to hide the shortcomings in the working of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism apparatus and its inability to keep tabs on organisations — not necessarily banned — which manage to amass enough resour-ces to run clandes-tine cells that undertake fiendish operations of such magnitude.

The Pakistani part of the trial is dragging on, prompting allegations from New Delhi that Islamabad is not serious. The fact that the prosecution came up with some new information about the Pakistani handlers of the suspects and the money transfer mechanism to shed some light on the case gives hope that the case will be pursued with speed and that justice will be done so that those responsible for the massacre are exposed. Above all, Pakistanis deserve to know what the government intends to do to ensure that such a tragedy is not repeated. The issue is linked to the hydra-headed monster that terrorism has become for us. Militants are now operating throughout Pakistan and feel free to choose their targets, strike at will and plan operations abroad. The lesson to be drawn from the Mumbai events and its aftermath is that the government must make efforts to ensure that the state and citizens unite to root out what has become the biggest threat to our peace of mind as well as to our own and regional security.

Updated Nov 22, 2012 12:05am

More From This Section

ISI and media infighting

IN the bizarre, whiplash-inducing fallout of the Hamid Mir shooting, an alarming new twist has occurred: the ...

MQM in government again

THE MQM’s decision to join the Sindh government is not altogether surprising. The love-hate relationship that it...

Men planning families

AFTER decades of witnessing the country struggle to bring its burgeoning population figures under control, with ...

Militant groups in Punjab

THE Punjab government, in response to a report in this newspaper, has furnished statistics pertaining to the last ...

Comments (43) (Closed)


Ch.subba Rao
Nov 24, 2012 04:34pm
pakistan must contain terrorists for its own-self as well others.Education will play pivotal role and if they are educated they will act madly
shantilal pania
Nov 22, 2012 03:42pm
i am very much touched with this article . my compliments to DAWN . my sincere desire is that both the countries leaves brotherly and with peace
Iftikhar Husain
Nov 22, 2012 11:50am
Nice comments from Dawn I wish everybody thinks like this paper.
Vimlesh kumar
Nov 23, 2012 12:42am
Very well said......Gr8 article DAWN.....If the trails are done speedy and in time with justice....Believe me this will send a very positive response across the world from Pakistan...as this is the only way possible Pakistan can clear its stand and maintain reliability....
J.S.Acharya
Nov 23, 2012 06:23am
Indeed a well balanced editorial.It is again good to note that you are not recommending for the abolition of "capital punishment" like India's famous newspaper "THE HINDU". Why should we trivialise the "crime", by replacing it with life term, feeding and entertaining perpetrators of such crimes in the jail? There will be a tendency to commit heinous crimes and get away with a mere life term. Death penalty is a credible deterrent. Everything can't be justified in the name of humanitarianism. More so, in a world where crime in general has increased, both in number and in the gruesome ways it is perpetrated. Terrorism is on the rise. Let's have one penalty which is befitting such crimes.
Joe
Nov 23, 2012 02:37am
Thank you, Dawn, for such a powerful and concise article. Planning, recruiting, training, financing and communication for an attack on such a scale did not happen overnight. It's almost unbelievable that it remained 'hidden' from every authority at every level. The article speaks volumes about action that now needs to be taken, urgently. Where is the leadership -- open to the public eye -- to act upon the sources of such tragedies, and to show the public that another like it will not happen?
Saurabh
Nov 23, 2012 09:23am
How come you claim to be rationalist and comment like an optimist?
mumbaikar
Nov 23, 2012 04:29am
Seriuosly. No mention of terrorism anywhere?
confused mind
Nov 23, 2012 05:17am
very balanced
confused mind
Nov 23, 2012 05:17am
very balanced
Ajay Ladkani
Nov 23, 2012 05:37am
A very bold editorial indeed.I bow to DAWN for its fearless just views. It grills Pakistan Government on many accounts for their failure to curb terrorist actvities originating from Pakistan.
Kashif Khan
Nov 23, 2012 05:38am
He was a Pakistani from a small village Faidkot, Tehsil Dipalpur, District Okara. If we Pakistanis can not accept that there are elements in Pakistan who are brainwashing young adults into becoming terrorists then we can not solve our problems. For us to move forward and get our nation rid of these type of people iss to first acknowledge that we have a problem. These so called regious fanatics are also the ones who are doing the same henious acks in Pakistan too. Syam,, Please tell your pakistani friends that.
Abed Ali
Nov 23, 2012 12:26am
Great editorial Dawn. Kudos.
Pradeep
Nov 23, 2012 11:24am
Completely agree, there is urgent need to reign in these organizations and bring the perpetrators to justice. We all should remember that this particular act has potential to start a war between the two countries and if it did happened the human cost is enormous.
syama
Nov 22, 2012 09:04pm
Wow..It is great to see the Pakistan readers believe that Kasab is Pakistani..I appreciate dawn to publish my comment.
(Dr.) B.N. Anand
Nov 23, 2012 12:42pm
Sir, a very positive editorial. Hope every one has by now realised that no one is a winner but instead all are losers in this game of promoting terrorism. It is specially so when Pakistan has itself become victim of the monster whom it created to ----------. Regards BNA
Dr. Amit
Nov 23, 2012 08:43am
Very bold editorial to read. Terrorism has been engulfing the whole world and Pakistan is blamed to harbour the most,if not all, terrorist activities occuring around the world. Untill and unless we accept our mistakes, we'll be pushed to the corner and will be isolated from rest of the world. Save our generations from horrible deaths in the form of bomb blasts and brutal killings. Let the world be a peaceful existence.
INDRA
Nov 23, 2012 05:44am
i FULLY AGREE WITH YUSUF KHAN BHAI
Ashok Parulekar
Nov 23, 2012 02:26am
Newspapers such as Dawn can help to achieve humanity's dream of World Peace and World Oneness,
Rajesh
Nov 23, 2012 02:24am
Very rational comments from Dawn. I wish good luck to Pakistanis who intend to take back their country from those who maintain dual standards when dealing with terrorism; to people who realize that terrorism is weakening their society; to people who realise that terrorism is business, that terrorists are hired hands; and finally to people who dream of terror free Pakistan and a terror free world.
mohit
Nov 23, 2012 02:18am
I agree with Hrishikesh. Dawn is matching The Hindu, which in my opinion is one of the better ones in India and much better that TOI, in terms of quality.
Tammy
Nov 23, 2012 01:34am
As an Indian i can comment...DAWN is one of the most mature newspaper i have ever come across....way better than Indian Counterpart Times of India and in par with The Hindu.....keep it up & keep publishing such bold articles.....
Vidyasagar
Nov 22, 2012 09:53pm
I applaud Dawn for its neutrality and their effort to shed truth in this matter where as majority of Pakistan things Kasab is Indian and this whole affair is Indian Melodrama. India and Pakistan has to emerge above than the blame game and discourage the culprits to push the button again. Vidyasagar
Shamsher
Nov 26, 2012 03:15am
I pity the people of Pakistan. Their country is being used for such heinous activities and 99.99% of them don't even know it and will not condone of it. Pakistan got independence, along with India, from British but now Pakistan is once again under the slavery of Muslim-Extremists. At least British were somewhat reasonable. I prey for Pakistan that, 00.01% will be defeated by the 99.99 and live happily ever-after.
syam
Nov 22, 2012 05:31am
I am Indian leaving in USA some of my close friends are Pakistani. During our lunch time we discussed about Kasabs death and shocked to know that my pakistan friend with 100% sure they are saying he is an Indian and all Pakistani's are aware about it..its planned game by Indian government to defame Pakistan. Pakistan govt pressurized to handover to them so Indian Govt did id hurriedly other wise all drama will be exposed. Here I will ask the same question to all Pakistan readers. If you believe Kasab is Pakistani please vote (Rate up) so that I will know how you guys thinking.
yusuf khan
Nov 22, 2012 04:41am
A sensible editorial by a sane editor of a country where everyone seems to be hiding from truth due to their false national pride. National pride will become more potent and meaningful with the acknowledgement of facts, whatever be its consequences- painful or not. initially the whole Pakistani media was engaged in an unfortunate denial that kasab does not belong to Pakistan, but later a better sense prevailed. A terrorist is an enemy of whole humanity. Any one protecting them or their ideas is doing a great disservice to mankind.
Rizwan Khan
Nov 24, 2012 06:38pm
Fabulous editorial by THE DAWN. Govt of Pakistan should read this good work and the urgent need is to take the immediate action to stop terrorism in the country. Terrorists are not only killing innocent peoples of Pakistan but they are killing Indian civilians also and brainwashing the pakistani poor and illiterate peoples. strict action should be taken against the mastermind of such operations who are brainwashing & training people to spread terror in the name of religion. Please STOP doing this because our holy QURAN itself does not says that any innocent should be killed.
Brizmohan Hazarika
Nov 22, 2012 05:26pm
Terrorism has no state, no religion, no boundary, no humanity. As citizens of the world let us stand united and strive to uproot the hydra-headed monster from the soil of this beautiful planet so that the paradise lost could be regained for the future generations to come
Hrishikesh, India
Nov 22, 2012 10:51am
Really appreciate the objectivity and neutrality shown by Dawn here. I have been reading Dawn for quite a while now and admire the quality of articles, editorials and even the reader's comments here! Keep up the good work!
Satish
Nov 23, 2012 04:55pm
India has suffered Mumbai tragedy due to its promoters in Pakistan however Pakistan is daily suffering by regular series of blasts all over the country but still not ready to punish the mastermind of 26/11. You must think relegion or humanity, what is more important? Do no follow India but at least follow your Quran/humanity?
SBB
Nov 22, 2012 10:13am
Beautifully written and well said. We should introspect for our own future and avoid such incidents
FrienffromIndia
Nov 22, 2012 10:00am
Kasab was just a poor fellow who was brainwashed by Handlers. His last words "Maaf kar do" should be an eye opener for people who ventured out to kill someone. I thank DAWN for this editorial review. I believe that people of Pakistan( I met Pakistani friends in US) is extremely intelligent to tackle terrorism.
Bikash Chandra
Nov 23, 2012 09:36pm
Few months back I had just visited Dawn to see what rubbish they publish in their newspaper. To my utter surprise it turned my views and I got to know Dawn is one among the most enlightened newspapers of the world which search and publish truth. Hats off to Dawn for being impartial again.
Anup
Nov 22, 2012 06:30am
Good to hear the recognition that the entire operation was planned in Pakistan
Rationalist
Nov 22, 2012 06:39am
Let us hope Pakistan will arrest the perpetrators this heinous crime and bring them before justice.
Balaji
Nov 22, 2012 05:44am
How come he is a gunman and not a terrorist ?
shantilal pania
Nov 22, 2012 03:58pm
when i say , i am touched , i mean the truth and the sincerity shown in your article . keep it up.
Deendayal Lulla
Nov 23, 2012 09:49am
A very balanced editorial,and that too from a newspaper in Pakistan. Only a fearless daily like Dawn has the courage to question the pakistan government. Yesterday,an Indian newspaper carried a news item of Kasab's aunt,saying that her nephew taught the enemy a lesson in their own country,which a sensible person cannot digest. Were innocent Mumbaikars were enemies of Kasab,who had not even heard of him? What lessons,and who is the enemy -innocent persons who were doing their routine work . And what were the words of Kasab,while being hanged,"Allah mujhe maaf kare".
Amol
Nov 22, 2012 05:14am
I really appreciate DAWN. Being a Pakistani news paper, how can you write such bold comments. Many times I noted that you always support true.
Sanjay S
Nov 22, 2012 06:12am
Both India and US have given pin-pointed answers to the questions asked in this editorial. It is indeed a ostritch like attitude to deliberately ask these questions, when the answer to these questions is widely known. Case in point being LeT operatives and its cheif, who is roaming around freely.
Shahid Ashraf
Nov 22, 2012 06:52am
with the way he repented during the last 4 years and the three mercy appeals he filed, it is established that Ajmal Kasab (and probably others too) were brainwashed to carry out this heinous crime. I wish those who brainwashed him and others should be brought to justice. Only then this will be menace of terrorism will be over and we'll be sure that it's not repeated!
Beverly
Nov 22, 2012 02:42pm
Well said Shahid! Hope everyone feels the same way. We,the 2 countries that were one,should live in peace and harmony.
raika45
Nov 22, 2012 10:53am
The Pakistani government and security enforcers should realise that if such an incident occurs again, all hell will break loose from India.It is time your authorities get to the bottom of this and punish the perpetrators instead of beating around the bush.