ISLAMABAD: Pakistani investigators have unearthed substantive links between the gunmen who attacked Mumbai in November and a banned militant group, a foreign journal reported on Wednesday. It said in an online report that at least one top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader, Zarar Shah, captured in a raid early this month had confessed to the group’s involvement in the attack.“He is singing,” an unidentified Pakistani security official told the newspaper, referring to Shah. Shah’s admission was backed up by the US intercepts of a telephone call between Shah and one of the attackers during the assault, the Pakistani security official told the newspaper.
“These guys showed no remorse,” said the Pakistani official. “They were bragging. They didn’t need to be pushed, tortured or waterboarded” into making their statements.
One Lashkar fighter who left the group several years ago said in an interview that the agency (ISI) was directly involved in planning operations in the disputed Kashmir region. The agency’s officers were “at the table” as missions were being sketched out, the former Lashkar fighter said. However, an active member of Lashkar said in an interview that relations with Pakistani security forces had grown cold. “We always had to hide from the Indian military, but now we have to hide from the Pakistani military as well,” he said.
The ISI has always been a powerful and semiautonomous agency, and its top officers have maintained strong links to Islamist militants. There is some hope that the appointment three months ago of a new spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who previously oversaw military operations against militants in Pakistan’s lawless western districts, signaled a move away from sympathies with the Islamist fighters who control much of the region bordering Afghanistan.
He believes Osama Bin Laden is a religious fighter and not a terrorist
Source – A Prominent Pakistan Based News Channel
As if the Mumbai attacks last month were not headache enough for the Pakistan Government and its military, a British Sunday paper has claimed that Major-General (R) Faisal Alavi, a former head of Pakistan’s special forces knew he would be killed by his own comrades because he “threatened to expose Pakistani generals who made deals with Taliban militants”.
Writing in a damning report for the daily, Carey Schofield, a British author said that Faisal Alavi was murdered last month after he threatened to “furnish all relevant proof” about the two Pakistan army generals, in a letter to a senior most general of the army. The letter can be seen on the newspaper’s website but the names of the concerned generals have been blackened to conceal the identity. The author claimed that the deceased general had given her a copy of the letter once he was sure that the military leadership was not going to respond positively to it. “Aware that he was risking his life, he gave a copy to me and asked me to publish it if he was killed,” the author wrote. She said that Alavi told her in their last meeting at an Islamabad restaurant that his letter was a waste and he feared for his life. “It hasn’t worked,” he said. “They’ll shoot me.” He was killed within four days of the meeting when he was driving through Islamabad, the report said.
Ms Schofield, whose book on the Pakistan Army is due next year, said that Alavi – the brother-in-law of VS Naipaul, the British novelist and Nobel laureate – believed his sacking from the army for “conduct unbecoming” was a “mischievous and deceitful plot” and his letter was a final attempt to have his honour restored.
“Alavi believed he had been forced out because he was openly critical of deals that senior generals had done with the Taliban. He disparaged them for their failure to fight the war on terror wholeheartedly and for allowing Taliban forces based in Pakistan to operate with impunity against the British and other Nato troops across the border in Afghanistan,” the report said. “The entire purpose of this plot by these general officers was to hide their own involvement in a matter they knew I was privy to,” he wrote in the letter. He wanted an inquiry, at which “I will furnish all relevant proof/information, which is readily available with me”.
|Ajmal Qasab is Pakistan resident?
| Updated at: 2136 PST, Friday, December 12, 2008
ARID KOT: Ajmal Qasab, allegedly involved in Mumbai attacks and presently in Indian custody, is a resident of Farid Kot, Pakistan.
Geo News team that arrived in Farid Kot to investigate this, started inquiring the local people about Ajmal Qasab. Most of the people seemed unwilling to speak. However, a man or two confirmed that Ajmal Qasab’s father Amir Azam Qasab used to sell ‘Pakora’ in the area while his son Ajmal Qasab worked in the crop fields.
It was investigated that Ajmal Qasab ran away from home four years ago because his father failed to provide him new clothes on Eid as his son desired.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry has released a statement that seems to suggest that Islamabad might want consular access to Kasab, even if it is informally and in the presence of Indian officials.
The statement reads thus,” Our own investigations cannot proceed beyond a certain point without provision of credible information and evidence pertaining to Mumbai attacks. Despite our requests, no evidence or information has been shared with the Government by India so far. Any criminal investigation proceeds from the scene of crime to the criminal. This is standard investigation procedure”.
Pakistan’s representative to the United Nations, Abdullah Haroon Hussain said that Pakistan must be given access to Kasab. When asked that asking for consular access would mean an admission that Kasab is Pakistani, Hussain said Islamabad wants access to make sure this is established.
“It is in the benefit of India to allow consular access to this person to the Pak authorities. The sooner that happens the better it would be for both countries. We should both walk towards each other and no one should be seen standing at one spot. If in your presence we access him that’s a good gesture of working together, even if he is not a Pakistani national. If he’s not found a Pakistani, then he s not a Pakistani. But if he is, we’ll all find out, won’t we? But until then, we don’t know for a fact and can’t identify the person as a Pakistani. We will say these are your (India’s) allegations,
Pakistanis’s are fooling no one but themselves , when they say they are awiting concrete proof.
A committee of the United Nations Security Council has placed sanctions against Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front organisation for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), declaring it a terrorist organisation.
The committee has added Jamaat and four Lashkar leaders to a list of firms and people facing sanctions for ties to al-Qaeda or the Taliban the UN said.
The terrorists added to the sanctions list include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, which the UN statement described as the leader of the group.
The others are Pakistan-born Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the chief of operations, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, the chief of finance, and India-born Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, described as a financier for the group who served as its chief in Saudi Arabia.
However, it remains to be seen whether Pakistan upholds the UNSC sanctions.