Prima facie it appears that Abu Jindal and Abu Hamza are assumed names of an Indian citizen, Syed Zabuddin Ansari.
Lashkar-e-Toiba normally provides such assumed identities to its operators. The same assumed name given may be allotted to different operators in different periods of history again and again. Therefore, the Indian agencies will have to establish whether this Abu Hamza is the same one they are looking for.
This is of significance as the Pakistan authorities on 12 February, 2009 had arrested a jihadi called Abu Hamza. The question that arises is whether the Pakistan authorities were instrumental in releasing this terrorist and enabled him to settle-down in and operate from Saudi Arabia?
Sequel to this question is the fact that how could Abu Hamza operate for so many years from Saudi Arabia and was subsequently deported with the help of Saudi intelligence to India only in 2012 and not earlier?
Was the patronage of the Saudi intelligence withdrawn under pressure of the United States?
If we assume as per the circumstantial evidence published so far that Abu Jindal is indeed Indian citizen Syed Zabuddin Ansari, then two aspects become very clear.
First, that Pakistan Army and ISI continue to be involved in inimical activities against India, and Saudi Arabia is complicit in Islamabad’s crusade against New Delhi. The second aspect of deporting Abu Jindal subsequently by Saudi Intelligence shows that the Western intelligence agencies led primarily by America are responsible for pressurizing the Saudis to handover perpetrators of 26/11 to India.
The role of Indian Intelligence and Delhi Police appears to be limited to the extent that they were kept in the loop.
The primary reason for the Americans to help bring to book perpetrators of 26/11 are based on the deterioration of their relationship with Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abottabad, as also the fact that the American citizens were also killed in Mumbai.
This was made amply clear by the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, when she said: "We have a strong interest, as we've said, since the day of the attack in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of all those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack because our own citizens were among the victims."
There is a definite swing against Pakistan and its activities of export of terrorism in Washington after General Kayani refused to open up the supply lines for the American and NATO forces (reinforcements) from Karachi port to Kabul.
The outcome of this fall out in America is to favour, equip, and help India under the new circumstances to stand up to the challenges posed by extreme regimes like both Pakistan and China.
It is therefore in New Delhi's interest to take advantage of the favourable international climate to cause destruction of terrorist modules and organizations within and outside the country through covert actions.
Simultaneously, India must covertly aggravate dissentions within Pakistan to raise the cost of terrorism and terrorist camps being run on our borders in POK with the help of Pakistan Army. This will also enable India in the long run to enlarge its footprints to assist Afghanistan attain stability.
The capture of Abu Jindal should remind those Indians who propagate that Siachen should be demilitarized or Kashmir Valley be provided a 'Special Status' under the garb of autonomy that neither Pakistan Army nor ISI have given up their agenda to destabilize India.
With clear evidence offered by Abu Jindal that Hafiz Sayeed, and ISI officers were directing the operations on 26/11 from Karachi once again shows the helplessness of Indian State to fight terrorism decisively despite the mounting evidence.
It is wishful thinking by the Prime Minister of India and many in the strategic community that Pakistan Army will ever give up export of terrorism or fake Indian currency.
Islamabad will continue to use every trick to destabilize the Union of India.
However, as the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency (ISI) are overstretched between the Indian and Afghanistan borders, busy dousing the fires of extremism lit (by them) within the state of Pakistan, and the American pressure and denial of aid that disrupts Pakistan economy, they pretend to offer olive branch of peace to India as a well thought out temporary tactical retreat to gain time.
New Delhi therefore should learn to benefit from the international climate.
It should be clear to the Home Minister of India by now that Pakistan will never accept the concrete evidence offered by India to move against the criminals of 26/11 based in Pakistan as they are considered “strategic assets” and nourished by ISI.
The Ministry of Home Affairs appears to be living in a make-believe world.
The Home Minister to retrieve the lost ground, as a first step should send a strong signal by ordering the hanging of ‘Azmal Kasab’ immediately and ensuring that Abu Jindal case is put on fast track through a special court to bring him to justice.
Indian message should be in decisive actions and not by indulgence in rhetoric -- we must change our act as Islamabad will never!Bharat Verma, a former Cavalry Officer is Editor, Indian Defence Review. He frequently appears on television as a commentator, and is the author of
Fault Lines and
The Indian Armed ForcesMore articles by the same authorCourtesy Indian Defence Review