India’s 26/11 claims fully backed by Pak’s head of investigation

India’s 26/11 claims fully backed by Pak’s head of investigation
NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s constant refrain that India had not provided enough evidence to prosecute the perpetrators of 26/11 has been torn asunder by its own key investigator who has stated that the Mumbai mayhem was planned and launched from its soil.

In an article in Dawn newspaper, former DG of Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) Tariq Khosa has backed all assertions made by India about the involvement of Pakistani nationals in the 2008 attacks which left 164 people dead. Khosa said that to be able to deal with the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan was required to “face the truth and admit mistakes”. He said dilatory tactics by the defendants, frequent change of trial judges and witnesses turning hostile were serious setbacks for the prosecutors.

Khosa was made the DG of FIA a couple of months after 26/11 and in that capacity headed the probe into the terror strike. He was transferred out of FIA in December 2009.

Known for his integrity, Khosa had also probed the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. He was also asked by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to probe high profile corruption cases.

Ex-Pak official’s 26/11 stand vindicates us: India

Reacting to Khosa’s article, official sources here said the Indian government stood vindicated in its position that the entire conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan, the gunmen trained there and that even the financing of the attacks took place in the neighbouring country.

Khosa listed 7 facts as pertinent to the case. First, he said that Ajmal Kasab, the gunman who was hanged by India last year, was a Pakistani national whose antecedents such as his residence, schooling and joining of a militant outfit had been verified by Pakistani investigators.

Second, he said the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were trained near Thatta in Sindh, from where they were launched by sea, and that even the training camp had been identified and secured by the investigators. “The casings of the explosive devices used in Mumbai were recovered from this training camp and duly matched,” he said.

Third, Khosa said the fishing trawler used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to harbour, then painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators and connected to the accused.

“Fourth, the engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists near Mumbai harbour contained a patent number through which the investigators traced its import from Japan to Lahore and then to a Karachi sports shop from where an LeT-linked militant purchased it along with the dinghy. The money trail was followed and linked to the accused who was arrested,” he wrote in the article.

“Fifth, the ops room in Karachi, from where the operation was directed, was also identified and secured by the investigators. The communications through Voice over Internet Protocol were unearthed,” he wrote.

Sixth, he said, the alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested. Seventh, Khosa added, a couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrested and brought to face trial.

Khosa said the investigators had even submitted a plea in court to obtain the voice samples of the accused, including the commander (Lakhvi), forcibly, but there was no provision in law which allowed them to do so. He said the investigators have now approached the high court and that the appeal was pending.

When he met his counterpart Narendra Modi recently in Ufa, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif had committed to expediting the Mumbai trial. Welcoming the decision to have NSA-level dialogue on terrorism, Khosa also said that the “botched” investigations into Samjhauta blasts and India’s alleged role in Baloch insurgency also needed to be highlighted. Khosa had also served as the chief of police in Balochistan earlier.

 

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