An act of terror lives on beyond the day and date of its occurrence, and so do the terrorists and their masters behind it. @6/11 terror attacks, which lasted for three days, November 26 to 28, 2008, offer classic example that how the men behind such horrible atrocities live on even when they are proclaimed dead.
Sajid Mir, one of the major planners of the 26/11 terror attacks, which shook the whole of the Indian nation, was proclaimed dead by Pakistan, and now the “ dead” has been arrested, awarded sentence in the terror funding case. He was sentenced to 15 and half years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 4,20,000 by a Pakistani court in the first week of this month.
This fact came to light only after Pakistan was forced to submit all details about the terrorists and terror funding if it wanted to get out of the “ grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog that monitors terror funding trail across the countries.
That Sajid Mir, who along with Hafiz Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror outfit closely associated with al-Qaeda, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, also known as “ chacha” or uncle in his circles, planned the Mumbai terror attacks, was declared dead by Pakistan’s spy agencies shows that how the neighbouring country seeks to defend its strategic assets- terror. Had it not been its strategic necessity to get off the hook of FATF, perhaps the truth of Sajid Mir being alive would not have been known to anyone.
Sajid Mir, now 44, had conducted reconnaissance of Mumbai, along with David Coleman Headley, the prime man in the 26/11 attacks before the hours of acts of terror visited the financial capital of India, which left 166, including 26 foreigners dead.
Sajid Mir’s arrest, subsequent declaration that he had died, before acknowledging that he is alive and has been sentenced for the crime , is a saga that has its uniqueness as well a superbly executed theatre of deception by Pakistan. This is not the end of the story, it is the beginning of tracing the culprits in other acts of terror in India, for which Pakistan is responsible from planning to the execution stages.
India, the victim of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, from Kashmir to Mumbai, needs to draw necessary lessons that it should not take Pakistan by its word. In the opening days of 2016, Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad had mounted a terror attack on Pathankot air base.So much so was the trust in Pakistan that ISI was given access to the scene of the terror attack only to hear from Pakistan that it had nothing to do with it. In that particular case, it didn’t even say that its non-state actors, a euphemistic term for terror groups operating from its soil – they export terrorists and plans of error attacks until the execution stage – had mounted the attack. It was a completely wash hands-off strategy that Pakistan has adopted an umpteenth number of times, especially when it concerns India.
The lesson is that India should take Pakistani words with a bagful of salt. Sajid Mir, who conducted operations across the globe, for he was also planning an attack at a newspaper office in Denmark, represents the reach of the terrorists and their masterminds in Pakistan.
Sketches of his profile published in Pakistani and international media show that terrorism is deep-rooted in the polity there.
Dawn newspaper has sketched his profile from 1994 onwards. It said,” Mir’s association with LeT and Hafiz Saeed dates back to 1994 when he was just 16. He then rose in the terrorist outfit’s ranks and became associated with its international operations wing.”
There were also reports that he remained the deputy chief of LeT’s international operations, but others suggest that he even at some point led that unit. He is said to have enjoyed direct access to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was the chief of all terrorism operations. He had in 2005 secretly toured India, where he went as a cricket fan to watch a match between the cricket teams of the two countries. On that occasion he remained in India for about 15 days.
“Mir’s name started featuring on the international terrorism landscape as early as 2002, when he attempted to make large military equipment purchases from the US with the help of his Virginia-based accomplices. However, that project came to an end when the FBI arrested 11 people in what became to be known as ‘Virginia Paintball Jihadi’ case. Ten of them were jailed.
He later turned towards Australia. In 2003 he planned attacks in Australia with the help of a French national, Willie Brigitte, and an Australian, Faheem Khalid Lodhi, for Australian troops presence in Afghanistan.”
About the Author:
Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, and The Tribune. He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with those of prameyanews.com.