Pak not doing enough: Western diplomats

  • Rezaul H Laskar, PTI, Islamabad
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 28, 2008 18:52 IST

The US and Britain have provided Pakistan evidence of the involvement of elements within the country in the Mumbai terror attacks but western diplomats believe Islamabad has "not done enough" in terms of acting on the intelligence.

In the wake of the Mumbai attacks, British and American investigators amassed a large amount of technical and human intelligence that was subsequently passed on to Pakistan, Western diplomatic sources told PTI.

Sleuths from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were given access to Amjal Amir Iman, the lone gunman captured during the attacks, were convinced he is a Pakistani national and that the terrorist strike was planned and coordinated by elements in Pakistan.

However, the diplomatic sources said they believed that the Pakistan government had not acted adequately on the evidence provided to it.

"The Pakistani authorities have not done enough on the intelligence shared with them," said a source.

The sources said the most clinching evidence on the involvement of Pakistani elements was provided by the British authorities. In fact, British intelligence operatives were so convinced of the Pakistani links to the attack that they did not take up an offer to question Iman alias Ajmal Kasab, sources said.

The US and British authorities have handed over intercepts of satellite and mobile conversations between the attackers in Mumbai and Pakistan-based elements who were guiding them.

Among the Pakistani handlers was Lashker-e-Taiba's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who was detained during a raid by the military in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on December 7. Lakhvi's current whereabouts are not known.

Western intelligence agencies have backed India's contention that Lakhvi planned and coordinated the November 26 attacks in Mumbai.

American investigators also played a key role in extracting details of calls made by the terrorists in Mumbai to their LeT handlers in Pakistan by using sophisticated technology to examine burnt and damaged cellular phones. These phones, which were damaged in gun battles between the terrorists and security forces, were provided to the FBI team by Indian law enforcement agencies, they said.

However, a report in The News daily today quoted Pakistani intelligence sources as saying that the intelligence shared by the Western powers was not evidence that would "stand up in court".

They claimed Iman's confession could have been "obtained under duress" and is "not admissible in a trial". Thus the confession could not be the "basis of any proceedings against (Iman) or others from Pakistan".

The shared intelligence formed the basis of actions taken so far by Pakistan but it could not "be described as evidence", the sources claimed.

"If Islamabad is to put any Pakistani citizen on trial for the Mumbai attacks, it will require a list of Indian witnesses and their statements as well as all technical material, such as computer drives and mobile phones recovered from the alleged terrorists from Pakistan," the report said.

The report further claimed that "India's problem" is that it could not share evidence with Pakistan because of "inconsistencies in Indian public accounts" of the attacks and "the fact that some of the attackers and their local support network could have come from within India".

 

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