A Pakistani investigator who probed the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks has said sleuths uncovered a raft of evidence linking the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to the carnage that was “planned and launched” from Pakistani soil.
Tariq Khosa, who was made head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) weeks after the assault that killed 166 people, said Pakistan has to deal with the fallout of the attacks and this will require “facing the truth and admitting mistakes”.
In an article for the Dawn newspaper, Khosa demanded that Pakistan's state security apparatus should ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of the "ghastly terror attacks" are brought to justice.
"This case will not be over soon," he wrote, noting that the case has lingered on for far too long.
Khosa said 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.
Here are the seven key points made by Khosa in his article.
"First, Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national, whose place of residence and initial schooling as well as his joining a banned militant organisation was established by the investigators."
"Second, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were imparted training near Thatta, 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."
On the fishing trawler
"Third, the fishing trawler used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to harbour, then painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators and connected to the accused."
On the engine of the dinghy
"Fourth, the engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists near Mumbai harbour contained a patent number through which the investigators traced its import from Japan to Lahore and then to a Karachi sports shop from where an LeT-linked militant purchased it along with the dinghy. The money trail was followed and linked to the accused who was arrested."
On the operations room in Karachi
"Fifth, the ops room in Karachi, from where the operation was directed, was also identified and secured by the investigators. The communications through Voice over Internet Protocol were unearthed."
On LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and other accused
"Sixth, the alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested."
On financiers and facilitators of the attacks
"Seventh, a couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrested and brought to face trial."
The Mumbai attacks
On November 26, 2008, Ajmal Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists went on the rampage in India's financial hub, killing 166 people and injuring hundreds over a period of three days. Kasab was the only one to be captured, while the others were killed by Indian security forces.
Lakhvi and six others were arrested in Pakistan and charged with planning, financing and facilitating the attacks. Their trial has dragged on at a snail's pace since 2009 and Lakhvi was released on bail in April. The lack of progress in the trial has become a key irritant in bilateral relations and the two sides recently agreed to discuss ways to speed up the prosecution of the seven suspects, including the use of voice samples.
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