In a rare moment of decisive action the Indian government hanged Ajmal Kasab, the surviving Pakistani terrorist from the 2008 26/11 Mumbai attacks.  The last couple of years have seen tedious posts in this blogger’s Facebook feed with friends whining that the Indian government managed to do _____, “BUT KASAB IS STILL ALIVE.”  A few weeks ago when Kasab fell ill in prison with rumors of dengue fever, snarky comments that a mosquito may manage to do what the Indian government could not proliferated.

The reality is that there never was much chance of Kasab receiving a reprieve from the hangman.  He was captured on photograph participating in the Mumbai attacks.  He had been abandoned by his home country Pakistan.  Even with India’s reluctance to use the death penalty, no Indian government would have dared to pardon the most notorious criminal in Indian custody.  It was only a matter of time before the bloodlust of the mob was sated.

While no tears need to be shed for his fate, Ajmal Kasab was merely the vicious tool of murderous masters.  The Pakistani terrorists in the 26/11 attacks received their instructions from handlers in Pakistan – almost certainly handlers from Pakistan’s rogue spy agency the ISI.  The wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba that supplied Kasab and his terrorist brethren from Pakistan’s lost underbelly has merely changed its name and its leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed still roams free.

Pakistan reluctantly admitted the nationality of Kasab, but has done little else to curb its support of terrorism as a tool of state policy.  The aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden raid has pushed some of these activities underground for now but nothing has been done to curb the flow of available recruits to the terrorist recruiting mills.  Even the outrage over the Malala Yousafzai attack has not led to any concrete steps on the ground.

Pakistan is essentially a failed state.  Its state security agencies still shelter the Taliban and Kashmiri jihadist fronts.  Its policies towards its neighbors on the west and the east are largely negative.  Its corrupt civilian government has little legitimacy.  The judiciary appears to have overreached and has lost the heroic halo from its role in bringing down the Musharraf dictatorship.  The army has indicated that it is not subject to any civilian oversight.  The state has no control over large parts of the tribal north-west.  Rebellion simmers in Baluchistan.  Nobody seems to have any control over what the ISI is up to.

Indians woke up today to the news that Ajmal Kasab has been hanged.  While they celebrate they should remember that his ISI handlers still roam free.

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