Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ajmal Kasab: Guilty? Or Framed

Nearly one and a half year after the Mumbai drama, India has now tightened all the screws to reach the culmination of a malicious at the same time comic conspiracy hatched to portray Pakistan as a ’state sponsor of terrorism’. The 26/11 incident is shrouded in controversy, half baked theories and unproven allegations since the beginning until this day when a ‘guilty’ verdict has been announced against a man said to be the lone gunman captured alive in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.
Within first hour of the siege, the militants had managed to execute the entire top brass of Mumbai’s law enforcement – namely the ATS (Anti Terror Squad) Chief Hemant Karkare alongwith Ashok Kamte, Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police and Encounter Specialist Vijay Salaskar. Karkare and his team’s voice was silenced when he was days away from sensationally lifting the lid from Hindu terrorism – Extreme right-wing Hindu militant groups working hand in hand with serving Indian army personnel – involved in terrorist acts such as the bombings on Samjhota Express (in which 70 Pakistani nationals were murdered), Ajmer blasts, Mecca Mosque bombing and many other terrorist acts which India had also blamed on Kashmir based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Many analysts expressed utter disbelief and even more raised questions about the murders of Hemant Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte which appeared to be a bid to stop the ongoing investigation into the powerful Hindu militant organisations and their connections within the Indian armed forces.
Within hours of the start of the Mumbai seige, an ever-expanding cloud of lies, false propaganda, and baseless allegations on Pakistan surrounded the entire coverage of the incident, diverting the general attention completely from the real motives and cover-ups of the incident.
Almost out of nowhere in what seemed like an important breakthrough, one of the alleged gunmen was captured and hailed as ‘proof’ of Pakistani involvement, despite it taking days for the Mumbai Police just to confirm his name. They finally settled on ‘Ajmal Kasab’. Names earlier attributed to the lone captured gunmen included such gems as ‘Amir Ajmal Kasab, Ajmal Kasab, Azam Amir Kasav, Ajmal Amir Kamal, Azam Ameer Qasab, Mohammad Ajmal Qasam, Ajmal Mohammed Amir Kasab, and Amjad Amir Kamaal’.
This person, claimed to be a Faridkot native, wasn’t even known to anyone in this small village. Residents of the small town carried out a public protest directed at the Media, among them Pakistan’s GEO television network, for fabricating reports linking the gunment to Faridkot. Nevertheless, a case was registered against ‘Ajmal Kasab’ and the ‘dynamic’ Indian investigation surprised no one when they revelated that Kasab was a member of the Kashmir based militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba, and that the attacks were masterminded by none other than Hafiz Saeed – head of the Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa – alongwith ‘ISI officers’.
The entire case, including the verdict announced today, revolves around Kasab’s own confession – which he revoked during the trial saying it was obtained through torture.
The ‘evidence’ provided by India after the Mumbai attacks and throughout the trials, has been rejected not only by Pakistan but declared insufficient and weak by even the Interpol.
Throughout the trial, damaging information conflicting with the official Indian version of the story kept surfacing. There were reports of Ajmal Kasab being one of the many Pakistanis kidnapped from Kathmandu in 2006 by Nepali authorities and handed over to India to be framed as terrorists in false-flag attacks and implicate
Pakistan. There was a exclusive report by PKKH on January 27th last year reporting for the first time that the person in custody was not the lone gunman originally captured by Indian police in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. PKKH broke the story that the man called ‘Ajmal Kasab’ had died in custody.
This report was immediately followed by swift denials from the Indian officials. Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil, said in a press conference: ‘Kassab is in Mumbai police custody and very much alive’.
In a separate press conference the next day, the Mumbai Police Commissioner also denied the reports of Kassab’s death.
“Kassab is safe in our custody,” Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor told PTI.
PKKH understands that Mumbai Police had originally intended to announce his death the same week – in a supposed ‘shootout’ at the Arthur road jail – pinning the blame on ‘Pakistan-controlled gangsters’ with links to Dawood Ibrahim. Following PKKH’s report into the lone captured gunmen’s death, denials were swiftly issued. It is important to note that the Mumbai police had failed to produce Ajmal Kasab in court first on December 11, followed by Jauary 19th and then February 2nd. India media went as far as producing an old photo taken immediately after the arrest of Ajmal Kassab, as ‘evidence’ that he was alive, while at the same time linking PKKH to the ISI.
Finally, a man was produced in court who admitted to a carefully written charge sheet against him and implicating the Pakistani military and Intelligence services – only to revoke it at a later stage revealing that he had been forced to sign the confession letter under duress and torture.
Setting aside the fact that the confession alone does not count as incriminating evidence in the Indian legal system, this development ripped the case against Pakistan to shreds.
The story took another interesting turn last Decemeber when the man in custody finally confirmed what PKKH had reported almost a year earlier – that he was arrested days before the Mumbai attacks for violation of his Visa conditions, and subsequently shot in the hand and produced in court – under the influence of drugs and after severe torture – as the lone captured gunman. He categorically denied having anything to do with the Mumbai attacks and said in court that he was being framed as his face resembled one of the gunmen’s.
The Ajmal Kassab tale has a number of twists, doubts, deception, lies and conspiracy on part of India with no solid investigation carried out on the incident or evidence produced. Instead there appears to be major cover-ups and an unknown, unrelated person labelled as a terrorist from Pakistan so as to make another move on the geo-strategic chessboard in the South Asian region.
The Indian Police and authorities have been creating fake terrorists with fake links to Pakistan in the past so as to malign Pakistan’s name and dub it as a terrorist state. One search on ‘fake Indian encounters’ will reveal a long list of innocent Muslim men and women murdered in cold blood and reported as ‘Pakistani terrorists killed in a gunfight with the law enforcement authorities’.
Ajmal Kassab issue was just another episode of this drama, with the aim being to label Pakistan’s armed forces and Intelliigence agencies as sponsors of terror, and to fan the hype about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists within its own armed forces – the likes of which, India alleged, trained Mumbai’s gunmen.
A special session court in Mumbai pronounced verdict on the Ajmal Kassab case today. Ajmal Kassab was convicted and his two Indian aides were acquitted,
Despite the fact the India hammered the last nail in the coffin by convicting the accused with no concrete evidence provided, denial of access to the alleged person, major cover-ups of the incident, it couldn’t manage to “achieve” the objective to implicate Hafiz Saeed and the Pakistani Intelligence services as the masterminds of the incident and Pakistan as terror sponsoring state on the international arena. Saeed stays a free man in Pakistan after being acquitted twice by court citing lack of evidence, while the FBI and other international investigators have rejected any possible role of the Pakistan armed forces or Intelligence agencies in the Mumbai attacks.
While the man known as ‘Ajmal Kasab’ will probably be sent to the gallows, Indian goal of branding Pakistan as state sponsor of terror remains unfulfilled, and there is no guarantee another false-flag terrorist attack will not follow soon to take another pop at Pakistan.

D Qayum

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