Confident of access, India to quiz Headley about 'Karachi Project' | india | Hindustan Times
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Confident of access, India to quiz Headley about 'Karachi Project'

india Updated: Apr 11, 2010 15:52 IST
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India is confident of getting direct access to David Headley and wants to know from him details of the Lashkar-e-Taiba's so-called "Karachi Project" - a terror mission to target select Indian cities, Home Secretary GK Pillai said.

"We would be more interested in knowing what are the sites (in India) he (Headley) has surveyed for the Lashkar-e-Taiba," Pillai told IANS in an interview.

The home secretary said India had some clues that establish a link between the LeT and the Indian Mujahideen terror group that has been assigned the Karachi Project, a terror plot unearthed by Indian intelligence agencies.

According to intelligence officials, the terror venture named after Pakistan's largest city involves recruiting Indian youth to carry out strikes in the country's heartland using locally available explosives. This is aimed to dispel any suspicions of Pakistan's involvement.

Pillai said the government also had some clues of the places that figured in Headley's reconnaissance missions in India.

"He visited the National Defence College in Delhi, some places in Pune, Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai, Chabad houses across Delhi, Pushkar, Goa and Mumbai.

"We know those video tapes (Headley shot for the LeT) are all in Pakistan. They may be planning more attacks. His interrogation will help us to protect ourselves and prevent further attacks," the home secretary said, adding he was quite hopeful that New Delhi will get direct access to quiz Headley who is in a Chicago prison.

"There is no doubt we will get direct access to him. We want to talk to him directly sitting in the same room. Of course, his lawyer would be present," Pillai told IANS, adding that US Attorney General Eric Holder had assured this to Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

"We are in the process (of getting access to Headley) and by the middle of this month we will make a formal request to the US government and then they have their own process to follow. They will have to talk to the court, to his lawyer, and on that basis our team will go soon to quiz him," said the official.

The access to Headley assumed more significance as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in Washington for a global nuclear summit and is expected to raise the issue with the top US leadership, including President Barack Obama.

Asked if his interrogation would help India in establishing Pakistan's terror links, Pillai said that was not really hoped.

"We would be interested in knowing who are the people he met in Pakistan. That will give us some evidence. I don't think we will get much cooperation from Pakistan. That is not really hoped. We can shout and scream, we will have to tackle Pakistan separately. That is a separate issue."