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Saeed UNLIKELY to be brought to justice: Expert

November 21, 2012 18:30 IST

Stephen Tankel, author of Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba, tells Vicky Nanjappa that Ajmal Kasab's execution is unlikely to pave the path for 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed being brought to justice.

Lone surviving 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab was finally executed on Wednesday. However, the big question is whether the masterminds of the 26/11 attacks can also be brought to justice.

If the likes of Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Mohammad Saeed, above, left, or Lashkar commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi are to be brought to justice, then it would entirely depend on Pakistan.

Stephen Tankel, author of the book, Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba, says it is very unlikely that Saeed will be brought to justice by Pakistan.

Tankel told that Kasab may have been hanged and a message sent across to the Lashkar terrorists in Pakistan, but the possibility of Saeed being hanged is unlikely.

Kasab's execution, Tankel added, is also unlikely to have any major impact on the trial against Lakhvi and other Lashkar operatives in Pakistan.

"It is not likely to have an impact. Legally, I believe the question is whether Kasab's testimony or confession will be accepted by the Pakistan court. I do not think it will be accepted by the Pakistan court," Tankel felt.

The Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Tankel said, is capable of operating on a large scale and some of its operatives have suggested that the organisation benefited in terms of recruitment following the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Pakistan, he added, is yet to take steps that would suggest it is prepared to dismantle Lashkar's military infrastructure.

"Pakistan may have restricted Lashkar's above-ground organisation, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa," Tankel said, "but this has not stopped the JuD from operating. Pakistan continues to provide passive support to the LeT."

Vicky Nanjappa