Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mumbai terror attacks: Ajmal Kasab hanged, Pakistan reacts cautiously

New Delhi: Even as news of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging sparked reactions across India, the reaction in Pakistan - the land of Kasab's birth - was muted. Indian government admitted it had had trouble getting a response from Pakistan.

Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said, "We had trouble even giving the note to Pakistan and had to fax."

In the only official statement Pakistan's Foreign office, said it had received and acknowledged India's intimation of Kasab's impending execution on Tuesday, adding, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestation and is willing to cooperate with all countries to eliminate the scourge.

Pakistan's stony silence on Kasab is nothing new. For the past four years Islamabad has rejected all Kasab's requests for consular visits and had refused to accept the bodies of the other nine Mumbai attackers and Kasab's family has mysteriously disappeared from their Faridkot village.

The larger impact of Kasab's execution may be felt on the 26/11 trial itself as pressure on Pakistan builds to complete 26/11 trial of six handlers and to track the masterminds. This also ends debate on access to Kasab by Pakistan investigators and Pakistan may toughen stand on India's please for clemency for terror convict Sarabjeet Singh.

For now India hopes the message that has gone out not just to Pakistan, but to the world that there is little tolerance for terrorism here while establishing that even the most ruthless terrorists are given due process of law.

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