The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI for training the perpetrators of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and failing to discharge its obligation under international law to prevent terrorist attacks emanating from its territory.
A bench of justice P Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan, which upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt and several others in the case, said underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon masterminded the attack on India’s financial capital with the help of ISI and Pakistani Army personnel.
“The accused arrived in Pakistan for training and they were received by ISI operatives who took them out of the airport without observing any immigration formalities. Meaning thereby, they had a green channel entry and exist in Pakistan,” the SC said.
The blasts had claimed 257 lives and left 713 people injured, besides causing huge damage to public and private property.
“The training received in Pakistan materialized in the unfortunate serial blasts in Bombay, India on 12th March 1993. A responsible state owes an obligation not only to another state but also to the international community as a whole. We sincerely hope that every state will strive towards the same,” the bench said.
“It is devastating to state that Pakistan being a member of the United Nations, whose primary object is to maintain international peace and security, has infringed the recognized principles under international law which obligate all states to prevent terrorist attacks emanating from their territory and inflicting injuries to other states,” it said.
The court said the confessional statements of convicts exposed that large number of accused including the absconders were trained in Pakistan in making of RDX explosives, handling of sophisticated automatic weapons like AK-56 Rifles and using hand grenades. The conspiracy was methodically carried out by Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim, Mohd Dossa and Salim Bismillah Khan (since deceased), it added.
“This duty to prevent acts of terrorism stems from the basic principle of sovereignty, which entails both rights and obligations. Under the ‘Universal Neighbouring Principles’, it is well established that the rights of one state end where the territory of another state begins.
An obvious source of this obligation lies in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which embodies the customary law of “prohibiting states from using or threatening to use force against another state”, the SC said.
“A host-state that has the capability to prevent a terrorist attack but fails to do so will inherently fail in fulfilling its duty under Article 2(4) since terrorism amounts to force by definition,” it emphasized.
The court also referred to Para 2 of the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1373 that required every State to refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.