In what is undoubtedly the most explicit exposure of Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 terror attacks and its continuing duplicity of the investigation, a top-level Pakistani insider has stepped forward to nail his own establishment.
Former chief of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency Tariq Khosa has dropped a bombshell on Islamabad in the form of a stunning newspaper column published on Tuesday in which he minces no words in stating that Pakistan was responsible for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, and that it has no choice but to deal with the attack that was planned and launched from its soil. This, he says, requires facing the truth and admitting mistakes.
In what will go down as easily the most unforgiving insider assessment of Pakistan’s continuous dodging of responsibility for the globally condemned terror attack, Khosa also says the entire Nawaz Sharif government and the Pakistan Army must ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of the terror attacks are brought to justice.
Using words that are already making Islamabad very uncomfortable, Khosa writes in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, “The case has lingered on for far too long, with dilatory tactics by the defendants, frequent change of trial judges, and assassination of the case prosecutor as well as retracting from original testimony by some key witnesses have been serious setbacks for the prosecutors.”
Ten Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai from the sea in November 2008 and massacred 166 Indians and foreigners in an attack that almost brought the two countries to war. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was caught and later hanged in India. Security forces killed the others. Islamabad initially denied any links with the attackers but later admitted that Kasab and the masterminds were Pakistani nationals.
In their meeting in Ufa in Russia last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sharif had agreed to find ways to expedite the 26/11 trial, including getting the voice samples of the accused. The Islamabad High Court has ruled that the trial should be completed within two months but the deadline is already over.
Seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, have been charged with planning, financing and executing the 26/11 attacks. Pakistan has repeatedly refused to oppose the bai petition of Lakhvi, making India deeply suspicious of its intentions to reach a closure for the carnage.
Pakistan must admit 26/11 mistakes: Khosa
Pakistan must admit its mistakes for allowing Pakistani terrorists to sail to Mumbai in 2008 and carry out a massacre, the retired Pakistani official said. “Pakistan has to deal with the Mumbai mayhem, planned and launched from its soil,” Tariq Khosa, a former director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), wrote in the Dawn newspaper.
“This requires facing the truth and admitting mistakes,” he said. “The entire state security apparatus must ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of the ghastly terror attacks are brought to justice.”
Khosa pointed out that Kasab was a Pakistani and that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who attacked Mumbai were trained near Thatta in Sindh and launched by sea from there. “The training camp was 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.
The retired official said that the Mumbai case was unique, and that proving conspiracy in a different jurisdiction was more complex and required a far superior quality of evidence. “Therefore, the legal experts from both sides need to sit together rather than sulk and point fingers.”
Khosa asked: “Are we as a nation prepared to muster the courage to face uncomfortable truths and combat the demons of militancy that haunt our land?”
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