Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ejaz Haider makes a case for Guantanamo

The intelligence agencies of India and the US may have clear evidence that LeT's Zaki-ur-Rehman Zakhvi led the Mumbai's massacres, but as per Ejaz Haider, if it came to court, a "smart Jewish lawyer" would likely get him acquitted.

Lakhvi is put on trial. He can be sentenced if the decision to do so is political-strategic. But can he be if we just take the legal course? Yes. But what the degree of difficulty would be any trial lawyer can tell us. And if, figuratively speaking — maybe even literally — LeT were to hire a smart Jewish lawyer, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lakhvi walks into a coffee shop in Lahore and orders a cappuccino.....The point really is that the prosecution will have to prove the chain of custody at every level and the integrity of evidence and come up with a case that is perfect. And the Jewish lawyer will poke holes in the case at every stage and try to prove, very likely successfully, that the evidence is manufactured.

So, as per Haider, we should leave Lakhvi alone, and consider instead the context in which the Mumbai massacres occurred.

I guess when faced with exactly this dilemma, G.W. Bush & Co decided that Ejaz Haider's suggestion was not acceptable.

PS: Unless I spell things out I will probably be accused of being a Nazi or some other kind of dehumanizer. This is what Ejaz Haider writes:
What does one do when terrorists are involved and one government is accusing another — or, as in this case, accusing “non-state” actors on another’s territory as having done this?

Take the legal course and one gets trumped. Kill the terrorist and beget more. In any case, a killed terrorist doesn’t help make the case one wants to — against a people or a government.

Moral: difficult though it may be, look at what is causing people to kill and get killed. No one wants to die; and except for psychopaths, no one wants to kill gratuitously. Still, people kill and get killed. The problem is way more complex than we try and make it out to be. Easy categorisation is today’s political Ockham’s Razor and helps us retain and deepen fault-lines and identities. But that is precisely where we tend to go wrong.

Make the terrorist irrelevant and the only way to do that is for the states to contextualise the problem before everyone can live in peace.

What Haider is saying is
- it is futile to prosecute terrorists
- it is futile to kill terrorists

Instead we must "contextualize" the problem of terrorism.

What does that mean? I see only one way to read it - "Unless you do everything to Pakistan's satisfaction, you will continue to be killed by terrorists hosted by Pakistan".

Jammu & Kashmir is supposed to be the context. We've been over this a million times. Starting from the fact that none of the Mumbai perpetrators is from Jammu and Kashmir, to the fact that if liberty is the goal, then Indian J&K is indescribably better off than Pakistan's "Azad Kashmir" and northern areas; that Indian J&K has constitutional government and that Pakistan-held Kashmir does not (even Pakistan does not); that Lord Avebury, once decorated as "Sitara-e-Pakistan" - their highest civilian award - for his support of the Kashmir cause, paid visits to the Kashmiri "freedom fighters" and came away disillusioned that they were not democrats and liberty is not their goal, and has kept his trap shut since; that the original plebiscite had as precondition that Pakistan would vacate its aggression; that while India has kept its J&K off-limits to any immigration from the rest of India, Pakistan has treated its area as a colony, changing irreversably its demographic composition; that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that the UN Security Council resolutions regarding Kashmir were no longer relevant; and lastly, the so-called grievances of the LeT terrorists and their goals go way beyond J&K - they want to plant the flag of Islam in Delhi's Red Fort, carve out N new Pakistans out of India, and in general suppress the (from their perspective) recently uppity Hindus; to fight against the Yankee-Yehudi-Hindu conspiracies against Islam.**

The Indian point of view is simply - hey Pakistan, learn to accept that 150 million Muslims in India can live in peace and equality in a democratic India, that the pre-Independence vision of the Indian National Congress continues to be basically sound, and leave us alone. We know that that puts the Nazaria-e-Pakistan (the Pakistan ideology) at severe risk in the mind of anyone who can think without cognitive dissonance; but that is not fatal. Pakistan exists, make the best of it that you can.

**PS: India has indeed most shamefully let the Kashmir Valley be ethnically cleansed of Hindus : 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced out.