WE,the people of India,are guilty of having let Pakistan go scot free after the dastardly 26/11 attack . From a position of weakness in 2008 , we accepted an uneasy truce . We were humbled,yet chose not to hit back. Like the defeat in 1962, this attack and its aftermath should be commemorated as our worst capitulation in the 21st century, the hour of our national impotence.
Ten Islamic terrorists, trained by the ISI, invaded India from from the seaside and unleashed their jihadist instincts for 60 long hours. Long enough for 166 corpse to pile up in streets of the metropolis. Long enough for the perpetrators to attack a hospital, two luxury hotels, Shivaji Bus Terminus, the Jewish Centre, a cinema hall, Leopold Café, while breathe fire and terror on the streets. Long enough for the whole world to witness our shameful hit back, courtesy an irresponsible media and clueless governments, both the Central and the State’s. The verdict by the time the seize had ended was unanimous- India lay humbled, Pakistan had terrorized us beyond measure.
A day after the seize ended,we had opened our schools, colleges and offices, and celebrated our resilience.The spirit of the Maximum City was lauded. As if a battered wife has any other choice but to gather herself up and pick the pieces. As if a helpless farmer has an alternative to selling his crops to middlemen at manipulated prices. Some kind of retaliation would have saved our faces, but we chose to bear this blow, and sue for peace.
The then government , comprising of economists, lawyers and sycophants, buried itself in preparing dossiers so as to avoid taking direct action . We presented ourselves as a poor victim, which we have been doing since the late 1980s. The world must have grown weary of our perpetual whining by then. Not just our foes, but also the bystanders would have predicted that we won’t retaliate, and hence the world chose to look the other way as we gathered our wits. Even an Islamo-apologist of a nation like France launched air strikes against the IS after November 2015 terror attacks. Let us introspect as to why we didn’t act then? Some vested interests belittle the September 2016 Surgical Strikes ask if cross-border infiltration has stopped. This lobby must have carried influence in 2008 is the reason why we did not exercise the option in 2008. (Manish Tiwari, in his new book, has lamented that the MMS government did not act then. It has taken him 13 long years to speak up.)
It is also to be noted that all the ten terrorists carried IDs made in Hindu names.The plan was for all the attackers to attain martyrdom so that all cross-border culpability could be summarily denied by their controllers sitting in Pakistan. Some of the attackers had lachchas tied around their wrists. Had Kasab not been caught alive, these attackers would have been dubbed as Hindus. Such a scenario would have lent credence to the cooked-up charges of Hindu terror. At best,it woud have been blamed on the homegrown,disaffected Muslim insurgents,and somehow linked to Kashmir. But for inordinate courage shown by Tukaram Omble, Kasab would not have been nabbed alive .India managed to present this capture as a face-saver of sorts. International Jihad could not be denied once Kasab’s identity was established.
We did not even bother to move troops to the border areas to put some pressure on Pakistan and global community.Rather it was Pakistan which ended up taking initiative in this regard against supposed Indian warmongering. Indian government had been so numbed into statis that they could not even think of any counter-measures like sanctions,closing of the High Commissions or resorting to surgical strikes.
Fifteen police officers including the then ATS Chief and an Additional Commissioner ,as well as two NSG commandos were shot dead by the attackers.Our law enforcement was completely taken by surprise.We were not prepared at all . Most of the slain officers were not even wearing bullet-proof vests,and were not even carrying smaller-sized weapons . There was complete breakdown of coordination amongst agencies. We had an inkling that something like this was being planned by ISI since late 2006, yet India failed to put in place any counter-measures and remained a sitting duck. It was a massive systemic failure in terms of anticipation, intel, planning and ground coordination.
Ten years later (thirteen now),we hold candlelight marches, parade our customary victimhood and make usual ,weary noises against global jihad emanating from Pakistan, even as a senior minister in a border state is still singing paeans in praise of their PM .
We have neither improved our ground intelligence gathering, nor safeguarded our sea routes,nor synergized the functioning of various agencies active in bolstering our defense, nor formulated a standard response strategy as yet. A new National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) was proposed to be set up by the then-Home Minister P. Chidambaram as an office to collect, collate, summarize, integrate, analyze, co-ordinate and report all information and inputs received from various intelligence agencies, state police departments, and other ministries and their departments. NCTC has been a non-starter of an idea since the day it was conceived.
Hafiz Sayeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi remain free in Pakistan,and continue to spew venom against India.
This is the day on which we should resort to voluntary power blackouts, and keep our flags at half-mast to remind us of how we were humiliated . Shame lies not as much in being attacked, as in our refusal to strike back. It is our shameful surrender that still riles. We came out of 26/11 without any saving grace. Only by accepting that we displayed poor national judgement in that fateful November can we be forever ready to strike back in the future, should such an invasion ever occur.
#26/11 #november26 #mumbaiattacks #tukaramomble #kasab #ajmalkasab #nationalshame #ISI
#Taj #leopoldcafe #shivajiterminus #MMS #UPAGovernment #HafizSayeed #ZakiurRahmanLakhvi