Pakistan’s admittance of the origin of the Mumbai attack from their soil has brought cheer to Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor for more than one reason. He spoke to Debasish Panigrahi. Excerpts from the interview:
How did Pakistan’s disclosure come to you?
It is a very big achievement, for not only the Mumbai Police but the country at large. This is for the first time that the Pakistani government has admitted that its soil is being used to perpetrate terror in India. This is a vindication of the quality of the investigation carried out by the Mumbai Police... This is an achievement for the investigators of about half-a-dozen countries who worked together on the case.
But many say that Pakistan action is based more on the evidence prepared by the FBI than on that given by the Mumbai Police?
There is no difference between the two sets of evidence. It’s all the same. Besides, both of us are talking about the truth and facts. And the truth finally prevailed.
Pakistan has arrested someone from Barcelona, and another from Italy, whose names never cropped up in the Mumbai Police probe?
Those might have been booked for the VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls (made between the attackers and their handlers) and monetary transactions made for the same. The VoIP calls were made through servers that are located in some country while the payment was made in another country.
Are these additional findings going to be clubbed with the evidence collected by the Mumbai Police?
Of course. We will add those only if they give us.
Pakistan has made a request for Kasab’s statement which was recorded by the Mumbai Police. Are you going to share it?
That is for the Government of India to decide.
Pakistan has put 30 questions...and has sought answers from the investigators. Are you going to answer those?
I have not received any official communication so far. We expect to get it by tomorrow. I will be in a position to answer this question only after I receive the questionnaire.
What about local involvement in the attack?
We have already identified the local moles. In fact, their names have been given to the Pakistan government in the 26/11 dossier last month. They are among the 16 wanted persons we want for the attack. The rest are Pakistanis. Those locals all are from north India. They had provided logistical support in the form of financial support through hawala channels and conducted recee of the targets. They were here many months ago, but vanished afterwards. We know they are presently holed up in Pakistan. All of them had crime past. Cases have been registered against them.
Are Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmad, the two arrested Indian LeT operatives, part of that group?
No. They are different.
Now that Pakistan has identified five of the nine killed terrorists as their nationals, are you going to hand over their bodies?
We really don’t know who they mean. They should make a formal request. We have no problem in handing over the bodies if proper claims are made.