Intelligence agencies failed to prevent Mumbai attack: Rehman Malik
‘Abu Jindal Was Working As Source With Elite Indian Agency’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Dec 16: Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik today blamed Indian security agencies for their "failure" to prevent the Mumbai attack and alleged that Indian non-state actors were involved in the massacre.
Malik also said had there been interaction between Pakistan and India and regular sharing of information, the 26/11 attack could have been prevented.
He said Pakistani-American militant David Headley had conspired with Al Qaeda militant Ilyas Kashmiri, a retired major of Pakistan Army and three Indian militants-- Abu Jindal, Jabbiullah and Fahim Ansari -- and roamed freely and plotted India's worst militant attack.
"So it is not a state sponsored drama, state sponsored action. It is action by non-state actors. Triangular nexus between Headley, (Ilyas) Kashmiri, the enemy of Pakistan, a Major who deserted the Pakistan Army, having joined LeT and of course three Indians," he said delivering a lecture at Observer Research Foundation.
Malik said during investigation, it has come to fore that they carried out recce of the targets and shot films uninterrupted and without notice of law enforcement agencies.
"If you put things together, there are three guys, one coming from the US, and he has that money, he has got credit cards, he has moved all over, he had created franchise, he had created a social circle. All these should have come to the attention of some agencies,” he said.
"Now the agencies failed. Both here and Pakistan. So, we have failed. Why? Because, there was no interaction between Pakistan and India," he said.
The Pakistani leader advised Indians not to hide matters of terror and investigation else things would may go out of hands. "Of course, I have to tell the truth to your country, to your people so that we find a way forward. If you hide things, the things will continue to move same way and a time will come when you will not be able to handle and control," he said.
Referring to LeT militant Abu Jindal, who was present in LeT control room during 26/11 attack and was deported from Saudi Arabia recently, Malik said Jindal had confessed that he was a known criminal, having been charged in many cases.
"He also worked as one of the sources of a very elite agency of India. Now, see, he has used agencies also and went rogue. Put it another way, you become a source, you become a double agent. While he is working, living in India, he might have gone rogue and then these three individuals go to Pakistan," he said.
On Kashmiri, Malik said, he was a close aide of slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and was part of the conspiracy to kill former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto. "Headley talked about a Major. I particulary investigated that matter. We found the link. How it is happening. We arrested one Major Farooq. He is an ex-Army man and used to work for LeT. We arrested him and that guy gave us lot of information. So, what I am emphasising, if we had interaction at intelligence level, at ministerial level at the government level, at diplomatic level, then we would have had the opportunity to share our information. May be, had we interacted (before 26/11), we would have found out Abu Jindal and Headley," he said.
Malik refuted the allegations that Hindus were being persecuted in Pakistan saying every Pakistani citizen enjoys equal rights in that country.
He also complimented the Indian government for arresting a key accused in Samjhauta Express blast saying it a "good omen".
"It is a good omen. I welcome it. I congratulate the Government of India that the main culprit of Samjhauta Express was arrested. I am sure this will help in identifying the whole network and it is going to be beneficial for the whole country," he said.
‘INDIA PROVIDED INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION AGAINST HAFIZ SAEED’
India has provided "insufficient information" against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Pakistan could take action only on the basis of evidence that stands the test of courts, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed today.
Speaking to reporters at the airport in Rawalpindi on his return from a visit to India, Malik sought to clear the air on several controversies that erupted during his trip, including his remarks equating the 2008 Mumbai attacks with the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
He acknowledged that the "greatest pressure" was exerted on him on the issue of Saeed, whom Indian officials have accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
"I said the insufficient information you have given, which you call evidence, will not stand the test of our courts and the (Lahore) High Court bailed him (Saeed) out," he said.
"I took a clear stand that India has given only information and not evidence against Hafiz Saeed. If they give some evidence, then the government will take action on it like it has done against seven accused who were arrested and 20 who were declared proclaimed offenders," he said.
Malik contended that Indian authorities should accept the decision of Pakistani courts to free Saeed on bail just as the Pakistan government had accepted the death sentence given by an Indian court to Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving militant involved in the Mumbai incident.
"Our courts have given bail to Hafiz Saeed and said not to arrest him because there is not sufficient evidence against him," Malik contended.
Asked about Pakistan's plans to send a second judicial commission to India to gather evidence on the Mumbai attacks, Malik said he and his Indian counterpart had agreed that a team of Indian legal experts would meet Pakistan’s Attorney General in Islamabad on Tuesday to frame the terms of reference for this commission.
These terms of reference will include the procedures for the commission and the persons the panel can cross-examine. "If the terms of reference are finalized, the commission will go to India on January 2 or 3 subject to clearance from court," Malik said.
The anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks rejected the findings of the first judicial commission that visited Mumbai in March as the panel did not have the power to cross-examine key Indian witnesses.
While replying to questions from journalists, Malik sought to defend his remarks equating the Mumbai attacks with the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.
"I took a message that we want that there should be no incident in the world like 9/11, there should be no 26/11 in India, there should be no Shia-Sunni clash in Pakistan or Samjhauta Express...And we would want that incidents like Babri Masjid too should not happen because such incidents bring and grief and misery to the people," he said.
Malik contended that India and Pakistan should jointly frame a strategy to ensure that incidents the Mumbai attacks and Babri Masjid demolition did not happen in future.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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