First Osama, now Zawahri: US shows the way again
JAMMU: Salute to America; it has proved its soul is alive. Incumbents might come and go but the institutions remain intact. The US has kept its word of avenging 9/11-the death trail of the morning of 11 September 2001, when 19 terrorists from the Islamist extreme group al Qaeda hijacked four commercial aircraft and crashed two of them into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. After learning about the other attacks, passengers on the fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93, fought back, and the plane crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania about 20 minutes by air from Washington, D.C. The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed and nearly 3,000 people were killed from 93 different countries.
The masterminds of the 9/11 are now eliminated.
Soon after killing of Osama bin Laden in his Abbotabad rat-hole on May 2, 2011, the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had left no room for any ambiguity by saying: “The United States has made it clear from the very moment we were attacked (9/11) that we would go after those who had attacked us. Bin Laden was our primary target. The President made a gutsy decision. We were very pleased that the operation succeeded. And we’ve made it clear to people around the world that if we locate someone who has been part of the Al Qaeda leadership, then you get him or we will get him.”
And again after over 11 years, the US President Joe Biden did it again and announced the killing of the al- Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an American drone attack on his balcony in downtown Kabul on August 2, 2022, saying “We made it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide if you are a threat to our people the United States will find you and take you out.”
This is how nations tackle the situations. Like the US, India too has the same mission of destination Pakistan and the mission end terrorism. The US kept track of Zawahiri from his Pakistan hideout to Kabul and ultimately nailed him. But the Indian nation, which has suffered thousand times during the past 75 years in general and over 32 years in particular from the Pak mission of bleeding India by thousand cuts, has failed in mustering the guts to find and fix terrorists, who are roaming freely in the rogue neighbourhood.
For most of the time during the 24 years rule of the various governments, mostly the Congress led UPA, till 2014, India did only speaking and nothing else. It talked about peace and dialogue, no matter if the fountain head of terrorism was found on that soil. It handed over a list of its 50 wanted fugitives, sheltering in Pakistan. But, just a day or so later, the list brought nothing but shame for the nation. It was erroneous. Pakistan did not react, something unusual, something tricky. Maybe they were waiting for their turn to snub New Delhi by saying ‘shut up’. Islamabad knows well the Indians and the Indian psyche. Despite India talking peace, Pakistan continues to indulge in providing moral and material support to terrorists operating from Pak-occupied-Kashmir. What should have been our response?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set the blue-print for India’s response to the scourge of terror unleashed by Pakistan by undertaking a surgical strike deep into PoK on September 29, 2016 but what happened. The Congress together with all the pseudo seculars and left lobby ganged up and raised fingers on the armed forces and sought proof. Did Americans ever seek proof? Did the US opposition rap their own government for taking on terrorists?
On the contrary, one of the Congress leaders, Sanjay Nirupam, at the behest of the High Command, had described the surgical strikes as ‘fake’. Another senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh had called Osama bin Laden as Osamaji and pointed fingers on Narendra Modi government’s action against terror monsters. Senior Congress leaders went all out in solidarity with terrorists involved in infamous Batala House, describing the encounter as fake. They joined those chanting “Afzal Hum Sharmanda Hai Tere Qatil Zinda Hai”. Any resolute action by the valiant security forces sees the opposition taking rallies and sitting on Dharna at Jantar Mantar. The Congress scion Rahul Gandhi is on record having embarrassed the Indian government, which came readily as a breather for Pakistan to exploit his comments on the international forum.
The tantrums of the united opposition notwithstanding, time has come for Prime Minister Modi to emulate the US and act rather than beating the bushes. There are not only 50, as per the list provided to Pakistan decades ago; there are many within and in the backyards, across Pakistan, as also in the various countries around the world. They are just a small distance away. They are to be found and fixed. There is no scope for ‘if’ and ‘but’.