THE much awaited verdict on the Kasab trial in India finally came and it was no surprise, given how the deck was loaded against him from the start. He was found guilty on all 86 charges, including murder and waging war against India. The two Indians accused of helping him were acquitted. The sentencing will come today, but Judge M.L.Tahiliyanis verdict that Kasab was a member of the Lashkar-i-Taiba and that his handlers were in Pakistan was reflective of the Indian governments claims. According to Tahiliyani, the gunmen came prepared for sustained urban combat and that such preparations are not normal for ordinary criminals but are made in an organised type of war. Clearly the judge has not seen the crime movies of Bollywood where criminal mafias have everything from machine guns to GPS devices It is interesting how the judge came to this highly political conclusion. The judge also stated that Kasabs confession was not acquired under duress, despite Kasabs claim and the general knowledge about how police torture to squeeze confessions in our part of the world. Be that as it may, this verdict and the sentencing, which may include death, will impact Pakistan-India relations. The Indians, along with the US, have been keen to lay the blame at Pakistans doorstep and more specifically the LT leadership, while Pakistan continues to claim that the Indians have not furnished any hard evidence to support their claims. Nor has India responded to Pakistans request to hand over Kasab and co-defendent (now acquitted) Ansari to Pakistan for trial. Undoubtedly, India will use this verdict to further pressure Pakistan on all manner of issues, and no doubt the US will add its voice to the pressure. Yet, the Kasab trial and verdict leave many serious question marks, not the least of it being what exactly happened to Indian officer Karkare at the start of the Mumbai terrorism. After the highly politically-motivated trial of Dr Aafia in New York, we have the Kasab trial and verdict in India. How long will the Pakistani state continue to allow its citizens to be subjected to such trials with no legal support or defence?