Rana trial- the men who got away

Sajid Mir. Photo courtesy: Domain-b
The much hyped up trial of Tawwahur Rana has finally come to a close and one could say with confidence it did not end the way in which many would have expected it to end.

Indian agencies have been saying that the bigger disappointment regarding this trial has not just been the acquittal of Rana. The more important aspects with regard to the likes of Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal not even finding a mention is what India is really disappointed about.

Getting some clarity regarding Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal was extremely crucial and all hopes were on this court at Chicago to give that clarity. We wonder why David Headley stopped short of speaking more about these two men who he repeatedly interacted with during his mission, an official in the Intelligence Bureau said.

Rana’s acquittal has hurt India, but it is not the end of the road, since we do have our own independent investigation. However it was extremely crucial for the Court to have made some observations on Mir and Iqbal. These are men who are part of the Pakistani establishment and more importantly they are hiding in that country and we all know what the issues are when it comes to accessing those men.

Going by the testimony of Headley where he starts off with promise and then back tracks, it only goes on to show what a skilled and trained operative he was. At the end of it he only said what he already had and has not diverted even an inch.

The IB says that the entire 26/11 attack was sponsored by the Pakistani establishment. It is one thing when we deal with individuals such as Rana and Headley. The job was made easier since they were in the United States of America which in turn assures us of a chance of questioning them. It would have been a different story altogether if they were holed up in Pakistan.

While dealing with matters pertaining to terrorism, it becomes extremely difficult when a particular country is directly involved in the attack. While India does realise the role played by the establishment in this attack, it was extremely important that even the United States did. Major Iqbal is a part of the establishment while Sajid Mir is a global terrorist. These are the kind of people who need to be dealt with international pressure and this verdict would have been the idea platform to deal with such persons. Moreover it was important for the court to recognise the role played by these men and had that been done, then the case for India would have been easier.

The likes of Mir and Iqbal do figure in the dossiers that India has sent to Pakistan. Today Pakistan can simply reject these names on the pretext that there has been no finding by a US court. It is also a well known fact that they would subscribe to a view of the US court rather than India’s demand.

The fact that these very important names were not mentioned at the end of the trial literally gives them a clean chit and only strengthens them to go about their activities. Now India will have put up a very strong case and also implead itself at the law suit in New York to prove the guilt of the ISI. There is a lot of home work that the Indian investigators will have to do in order to nail the ISI link to the case. Also India could hope that there would be a mention about these persons when Rana goes on appeal.

Speaking of Mir and Iqbal, the former comes across as a more dangerous person. A person like Iqbal will not be used for another attack since Pakistan cannot let the names of its officers come out again. However Mir is the one that the world needs to worry about, the IB says. He has a very selective set of skills which has helped him emerge into a global terrorist. He will continue to nurture many more David Headleys and he has been assigned a very key job to ensure that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba turns into a global outfit.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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