India feels that its stand on the 2008 Mumbai attacks is vindicated after disclosures made by Pakistani investigator Tariq Khosa, who has uncovered a raft of evidence linking the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to the carnage that was “planned and launched” from Pakistani soil.
"We have always insisted that the 2008 terror attacks were planned, financed and carried out by people from Pakistan. Also, it is our view that 99% of the evidence in the Mumbai case is in Pakistan," PTI quoted government sources as saying without naming them.
Pakistani prosecutors had enough evidence to nail perpetrators of the deadly attacks and if they had revealed it, the outcome of the Mumbai trial case would have been different, the PTI sources said, adding all those responsible for the attacks, including mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, would not have been roaming free in that case.
The sharp response came after Khosa, who was made head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) weeks after the assault, 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.
He listed to seven key points , encompassing 26/11 attack handler Ajmal Kasab and a control room in Karachi, that endorsed India's claims.
On November 26, 2008, 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.
A one-page joint statement outlining a five-point roadmap issued after a recent meeting between prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Russia's Ufa had said: "Both sides agreed to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai case trial (in Pakistan), including additional information like providing voice samples".
However, in a U-turn, Pakistan later asked for "more evidence and information" from India on the case.
Cong targets PM
Former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewary, meanwhile, took a dig at Modi, pointing to the PM's rhetoric that terror and talks do not go hand in hand.
Tewary said that the whole world knew the 26/11 attacks were planned in Pakistan and yet the Indian government was ready to have talks with the nuclear-armed neighbour.
"Ever since the Indo-Pak talks at Ufa, the shellings (along border) are a regular occurrence. There have been 12 provocations in the past eight days. What is now left to talk with Pakistan?" ANI quoted him as saying.
The Congress leader asked: "How can the PM want to continue with the NSA level talks after this revelation? He has to answer to the nation now."
Tewary was referring to proposed talks between national security advisers Ajit Doval and Sartaj Aziz slated for August -- another outcome of the Ufa talks.