India on Wednesday executed the sole living perpetrator of the 2008 extremist assault on Mumbai, the New York Times reported.
Observers said the Pakistani citizen's death by hanging had little chance of damaging New Delhi's warming relations with Islamabad.
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and nine other members of the extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba received orders by telephone from individuals in Pakistan as they conducted a three-day organized massacre that targeted a medical facility, a Jewish gathering site, a railway stop and luxury traveler accommodations in the Indian city. The assault killed more than 160 people.
Authorities apprehended Kasab while the other gunmen died in clashes with security personnel.
A high-level Lashkar-e-Taiba official said Kasab "was a hero and will inspire other fighters to follow his path," Reuters reported on Wednesday. Islamabad issued no formal comment on his hanging, though, and the execution received relatively little acknowledgement from Pakistani news organizations, according to the Times.
The execution would aggravate certain militant organizations, but Kasab and the 2008 strike had "deeply embarrassed" high-level government personnel and others in Pakistan, said Tariq Fatemi, a one-time ranking envoy for the country.
Kasab's death would have an insignificant impact on strengthened relations between the nuclear-armed South Asian nations, which had halted peace efforts for years after the Mumbai attack, Fatemi suggested.
“There is a virtual consensus among Pakistan’s mainstream political parties on the importance of keeping the process on the rails and even promoting it,” the former envoy said, referring to moves aimed at bolstering economic ties between the countries.
Islamabad continues to take measured steps to prosecute seven Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives believed to have managed the attack from within Pakistan.