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Millennium Post

Still awaiting closure, justice

It’s been five years since the shocking Mumbai attack rocked the world as one of the most dreaded terrorist strikes in history, perhaps surpassed only by the 2001 attack on World Trade Centre. However, not only are the victims of 26/11 still awaiting justice, a sense of closure and some vestige of coming to terms with the past, the incident still works like an open wound, festering the same disease and endemic problems as was the case five years back. Nothing has changed since 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists opened fire in broad daylight on 26 November 2008 at Mumbai’s crowded corners, as varied as Taj Hotel, CST station, Café Leopold among other landmarks of India’s commercial capital. Except for the unceremonious and clandestine execution of the lone surviving terrorist last year, the 26/11 episode remains a chapter that refuses to get over, with India and Pakistan still unable to arrive at a consensus on who to blame and how to punish the perpetrators. Still the Indian intelligence services are despondently understaffed, with shortages across departments and skills. Still the Indian government has been unable to exert the right kind of diplomatic pressure to extract a response from Pakistan, and beyond the usual rounds of consular banter, nothing substantial has been achieved in this front. Even the United States has upped its ante and urged Pakistan to bring the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to book, but all that advice has more or less fallen to deaf ears despite the moderate Nawaz Sharif government taking charge of affairs at the helm.

Clearly, even after five years since the attack, Mumbai stills walks the tightrope between hope and despair. Books and films have tried to portray the pathos of the tragedy, tried to paint the scars of the deadly strike, and some have labeled Mumbai as a ‘City Adrift.’ Moreover, the myth and adage of the ‘spirit of Mumbai’, one of incredible fortitude and resilience, has also been born post November 2008. Of the 178 killed, and several hundreds injured, there’s memory and sadness. But what are we doing about it, except making telegenic appearances and spewing empty words? Along with the Kashmir issue, Mumbai attacks have become a thorn in the ever-sensitive Indo-Pak relations, with no clear way out in sight.
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