Days after home secretary G.K. Pillai spoke of India’s disappointment at the US for holding back information on Lashkar operative David Headley, home minister P Chidambaram obliquely endorsed the official and said India would continue to pursue the option of seeking the 26/11 suspect’s extradition.
The minister also said the matter had been “blown out of proportion” and that the US had passed on intelligence prior to 26/11 as well as after, though Headley’s name didn’t figure.
Chidambaram — who’d earlier noted legal difficulties in getting Headley extradited — said “it is an option we will continue to pursue”. But he reserved further comment till the US completes its “full review” on what inputs were received, and when, linking Headley to 26/11.
He said Headley’s name and role in 26/11 was shared in October 2009, after his arrest. He added that US authorities had
assured him that the details emerging from the review would be shared with him. “So, let’s wait for that review.”
Government sources said the minister’s response was an endorsement of Pillai’s comments. Indian officials insist the US knew of Headley’s links, given that he was under surveillance during 26/11.