Saturday, February 14, 2009


By Manuwant Choudhary

Already one can see a dispute building up as to who will try the lone surviving terror suspect Ajmal Kasab - India or Pakistan?

Pakistan claims it has finally done its job by accepting the terror attacks on Bombay were planned in Pakistan and has posed some 30 questions to India - some genuine others vague and still others which are really not questions.

But belatedly Pakistan says that they may not just seek more information but may also ask India to hand over Kasab to Pakistan for a trial.

Logically, the place of the occurrence of crime is where the case is registered and the trial happens. In this case its Bombay and India.

Everything else including the countries affected by the terror attacks and where the crime has been planned falls later.

Logically, Pakistan should hand over the 6 arrested in Pakistan to India for a trial in India, with or without an extradition treaty.

One cannot have 15 countries trying Kasab or Pakistan trying Kasab.

Yes, one can have both India and Pakistan trying Kasab jointly in cooperation but provided Pakistan understands that justice systems are sacred and not open to `mischief'.

Or one can have legal representatives of all 15 victim countries to try Kasab and all accused, if Pakistan has a problem with just India trying Kasab.

For many years there has been a campaign for an International Court for Criminal Justice and all along India has not been a signatory to it. I am not sure whether Pakistan is?

But it is in such cases where a crime spreads across countries and even continents that such an international system becomes imperative.

But India will never hand over Kasab to Pakistan, come what may.

And Indians rightly ask this question that why should they trust the Pakistani judicial system when the Pakistani government itself seeks a UN probe in the assassiantion of Benazir Bhutto.

But sane voices out of Pakistan are never highlighted in the Indian media like an independent political commentator Musharraf Zaidi writes in The News International.

"This government has set new benchmarks for incompetence, and brought new meaning to the Pakistani people's resilience. In the current environment it is quite plausible that the greatest damage done to Pakistan is the set of statements, misstatements, steps and missteps that Pakistan itself has made. No amount of Indian surgical airstrikes or diplomatic conferences could have done the kind of damage that Pakistan has managed to do to itself, all by itself."

Mr. Zaidi writes, "For the hawks who would rather that Pakistan continue to deny that there are Pakistanis in the business of hurting India through terrorism, this kind of talk is blasphemy. But they should take a deep breath. India doesn't need Asma Jahangir or Gen Peacemaker Durrani to point out the miserable state of justice in the land of the pure. In a country where Mukhtaran Mai's rapists can have their convictions overturned, where the chief justice can be summarily fired, and then denied his job against all legal and political odds, why would anyone trust the system to ensure that the alleged Mumbai planners will be given a free and fair trial."

1 comment:

barun said...

Rule of law in Pakistan has been rather tenuous for a long time. That the Pakistani judiciary is fragile is an open secret. But even in India, the situation can at best be marginally better. We are clearly the world leaders in justice delayed, justice denied disease. From investigation to prosecution, from due process to a verdict, is a far cry for most victims of terrorism and violence within India. How many of our the serial blasts that have occurred in India the past ten years have been successfully investigated, prosecuted, a fair trial conducted, and then a verdict delivered? How many riot commissions have been created and then their reports buried in the back office?