Pak ex-top cop backs India's 26/11 claims

Pak ex-top cop backs India's 26/11 claims

A tell-all article by a former chief of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan has nailed Islamabad’s state of denial and revealed how the November 26-28, 2008 terror attacks (26/11) in Mumbai were planned in and coordinated from the neighbouring country.

The article is likely to help New Delhi press Islamabad hard to come out of the state of denial and speedily bring the 26/11 plotters to justice.

The article by Tariq Khosa, the FIA’s former director general, appeared on the website of Pakistani newspaper Dawn just three weeks before the likely meeting of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval with his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi.

India is now set to use the revelations made by Khosa to counter Pakistan's claim that it did not have enough evidence against the 26/11 plotters arrested by its own probe agency in 2009.  “Pakistan has to deal with the Mumbai mayhem, planned and launched from its soil,” Khosa wrote, adding: “This requires facing the truth and admitting mistakes.” He also listed several facts unearthed by the FIA, which investigated the 26/11 plot and arrested seven Lashkar-e-Taoiba (LeT) operatives, including commander of the terror outfit Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Khosa’s explosive words

The facts listed by him in the article, included that not only Ajmal Kasab (the lone 26/11 terrorist to be caught alive and executed later) and his nine accomplices were citizens of Pakistan, but they were also trained at a camp near Thatta in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

Sources in New Delhi told Deccan Herald that the revelations by Khosa would help India renew pressure on Islamabad to challenge the bail granted to Lakhvi by a Pakistani court in April as well as to expedite the trial of the six other incarcerated 26/11 plotters. New Delhi’s intense diplomatic campaign following the 26/11 attacks forced Islamabad to launch an investigation in Pakistan.

The probes by the FIA led to the arrest of Lakhvi, his deputy Iqbal alias Abu al-Qama, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah and four other operatives of the LeT for plotting the attack. The trial of the seven LeT operatives, however, has since been going on at a snail’s pace in an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan.

Khosa wrote that the LeT camp where Kasab and his accomplices had been trained had been “identified and secured” by the FIA investigators. “The casings of the explosive devices used in Mumbai were recovered from this training camp and duly matched,” he wrote.  Besides, he added, the fishing trawler used by the terrorists before hijacking an Indian boat to sail to Mumbai, had been “brought back to harbour (in Karachi), then painted and concealed”.

He also compared the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai with the December 16, 2014 massacre of students of a school at Peshawar in Pakistan by Tehrik-i-Taliban terrorists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had decided during their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at Ufa in Russia on July 10 that Doval and Aziz would discuss issues related to terrorism. The two sides also agreed in Ufa to “discuss ways and means to expedite” the trial of the 26/11 case in Pakistan.

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