Ajmal Kasab, the convicted terrorist who attacked Mumbai and alleged Pakistani has been hanged in India. While there is no evidence that he is a Pakistani — President Zardari has denied it on TV himself — allegations that he is a Pakistani has forced me to write this post.
First off all, we should recognize right away that terrorism has no religion or nationality. A guy waving a green passport and yelling “JEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHAAAADDD” could be a buddhist and could be from any of the dozen or so countries which issue green passports stamped “Islamic republic of Pakistan”. On top of that everyone knows that Kasab went on a boat from Karachi and ergo didnt even have a green passport stamped “Islamic republic of Pakistan”. So his connections to Pakistan are unclear.
As lucidly exemplified by Hafiz Saeed (Professor), Osama bin Laden (millionaire), Omar Saeed Sheikh (foreign educated), Ilyas Kashmiri (ex-SSG), Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mechanical engineer), Ramzi bin al-Shibh (bank employee) and all of the 9/11 hijackers (college educated), the root cause of terrorism is not nationality, religion or state sponsorship, but economic hardships and illiteracy. So let us not compartmentalize terrorism and look for ideological, religious and state sponsorship, and instead work towards eradicating illiteracy, poverty and polio (if they permit) which can be done only through increased aid, trade and visa liberalization.
This brings me to the real issue central to the Mumbai attack case that every Pakistani should deeply introspect and vigorously debate on TV, radio, blogs and social media: The issue of death penalty in India. It is time that we put an end to this uncivilized barbarity and Pakistan can be a great example for India: Terrorists in Pakistan are not only spared from the death penalty, they are not arrested at all, if arrested they are generously compensated with a stipend and allowed to procreate if they so desire. But mostly they are given a mansion in a well protected area to live out their life in peace. Death penalty to Kasab does not solve anything, there are many more in Pakistan waiting to cross over.
However, while death penalty has been done away in Pakistan in settled areas, this is not a time to relax. It is well known that the death penalty still exists informally in places like FATA where militants routinely behead and kill people. That is why every vehement opposer of death penalty in Pakistan strongly supports military action in FATA, Waziristan etc to impose the writ of the state and kill all those who hand out the death penalty. Once these barbarians are bombed, shot and killed on the spot by the army, the menace of sanctioned judicial execution after due process, representation, trial, re-examination and petition for clemency can truly be eradicated. The world should stand with Pakistan and offer increased military aid, arms and ammunition to achieve this lasting peace.