Malik rakes up India role in 26/11

New Delhi rubbishes statement on Jundal

Malik rakes up India role in 26/11

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday sought to underscore the role of Indian ''non-state actors'' in planning the November 26-28, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, even as New Delhi took strong exception to his remark that the incarcerated 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal was in fact an agent of the intelligence agencies of India.

Malik said that Pakistani-American terror plotter David Coleman Headley, al-Qaeda terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, a retired major of the Pakistan Army and three Indian “non-state actors” — Abu Jundal, Jabbiullah and Fahim Ansari — had hatched the 26/11 conspiracy. He also said that Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies had failed to get a whiff of the plot due to lack of contact between them.

‘Ridiculous’

New Delhi strongly reacted to Malik’s assertion that Jundal was an agent of an intelligence agency of India. “Such a statement is ridiculous. Jundal was working with the LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba) on Pakistan’s soil, when the Mumbai terror attack was carried out,” Home Secretary R K Singh said just hours after the Pakistani minister concluded his three-day visit to India.

Speaking at Delhi-based think-tank Observer Research Foundation on Sunday, Malik said that the 26/11 attack was not a “state-sponsored drama or action” but was an act by “non-state actors” — a “triangular nexus” involving “Headley, (Ilyas) Kashmiri, the enemy of Pakistan, a Major who deserted the Pakistan Army, having joined the LeT and of course three Indians.”

He said that though Headley came from the US, moved all over (in India), spent money, used his credit cards, created a sort of social circle and took pictures and filmed (potential terror targets in Mumbai and elsewhere in India), his nexus with Kashmiri, Pakistan Army deserter and Jundal and two other Indians went unnoticed by the intelligence agencies of both India and Pakistan.
  
“Now the agencies failed, both here (in India) and (in) Pakistan. So, we have failed. Why? Because, there was no interaction between Pakistan and India,” he said.

India’s denial

New Delhi, however, sought to counter Islamabad’s move to deflect attention from the inordinate delay in bringing the 26/11 plotters to justice in Pakistan. “The main issue was that the Mumbai terror attack was conceived and planned and directed from the soil of Pakistan. Pakistan did not take any action against these terrorist elements when the plan was being conceived and put into effect,” the Ministry of Home Affairs stated, after Malik left New Delhi for Islamabad.

Jundal, who was born and raised at Beed in Maharashtra, was in the control room that the LeT set up at Karachi in Pakistan to coordinate the November 26, 2008, attacks in Mumbai. He was directly communicating with the 10 terrorists who carried out the carnage, killing at least 174 and injuring countless others.

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