The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based militant outfit suspected of plotting the Mumbai carnage, has rejected a US media report that suggested its leaders had confessed to their involvement in the terror strike.
Repudiating the report published in The Wall Street Journal this week, LeT spokesperson Abdullah Ghaznavi has "completely ruled out" the possibility of any such confessions by the group's leaders.
A press release from the LeT, claiming to have been sent from Srinagar, what it calls "(Occupied) Kashmir", quotes Ghaznavi as saying that India had failed to furnish any evidence of LeT's involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Accusing the US of helping India in building up a case against the LeT, Ghaznavi said: "Since no evidence could be found on the scene of the crime, there is an effort to manufacture evidence thousands of miles away in Islamabad."
He contended that after no evidence was found to link Ajmal Kasab, the lone Mumbai attacker who was captured by Indian police, to the Mumbai attack, the US intelligence has "launched what it called 'Zaraar theory' through the media".
He was referring to the report in the Wall Street Journal that said LeT commanders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zaraar Shah had confessed to Pakistani officials about their involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
The LeT warned that "this theory too, will meet a similar fate (like the Kasab theory)". The Let spokesperson also accused the US of "manufacturing evidence to please India" and asked the US to focus its attention on resolving the Kashmir issue, which it stressed was "the root cause of conflict in the region".
The LeT's denial comes amid reports that Pakistan is close to admitting the involvement of LeT in the Nov 26 Mumbai massacre. The US has intensified pressure on Pakistan to act against anti-terror outfits and the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said that even after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) presented evidence towards the involvement of LeT, Pakistan had failed to take any "tangible action" against terrorists.
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Thursday said that Jammat-ud-Dawa, the public front of LeT which was banned after the Mumbai attack, has resurfaced under a new banner.