Closure? Not really

The most critical, unfinished business on the post-26/11 agenda is the prosecution of the seven men held in Pakistan for planning and organising the bloodshed. But the speed at which the trial, held in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, has progressed, the frequent change in the judges presiding over the case, and the judicial obstructionism over considering evidence from India, have only raised more questions about Pakistan's proclaimed commitment to see the process through.

Besides, reports of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, one of the seven held, operating out of jail, being allowed to have a mobile phone and even fathering a child while still incarcerated, do not inspire hope. Neither does Islamabad's inability to conclusively establish that state actors were not involved.

India still awaits the sentencing of David Headley in the US for his role in scouting out the targets for 26/11. Meanwhile, the deportation and arrest this year of Zabiuddin Ansari, aka Abu Jundal — accused of guiding Kasab and his fellow killers from a "control room" in Karachi — means Indian security agencies now face the challenge of proving his alleged crime and ensuring justice. Then there are the ongoing projects to plug the holes in India's coastal and internal security and the battle against homegrown terrorists, who seem to have retained the ability to strike, if the bomb blasts in Mumbai and Pune in the last four years are any indication.

The hanging of Kasab, therefore, should be used to reaffirm the country's resolve to fight terror and fulfil the promises made after 26/11. But closure still remains far away.

yp.rajesh@expressindia.com

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