Homesick and desperate to speak to his family and friends in Pakistan’s Faisalabad, captured Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Mohammad Naveed Yakub constantly blurts out phone numbers but none of the calls go through as these are either switched off or unavailable.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) official said Naveed had submitted an application to the special court hearing his case in Jammu, giving two new phone numbers and requesting the judge to allow him to speak to his family.
“The court has marked the application to the Jammu jail administration for action,” the official said.
The 20-something Naveed is lodged in a Jammu jail since he was captured on August 5 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur where he and a fellow militant ambushed a BSF convoy. He and his partner, who was killed in retaliatory fire by security personnel, were allegedly sent by his Lashkar handlers for a fidayeen or suicide attack.
Hindustan Times accessed Naveed’s application and tried the two phone numbers given by him. But they were switched off.
“It is highly unlikely that any of the numbers provided by Naveed would be active as the Pakistani spy agency has mounted a huge effort to wipe out his Faisalabad connection,” the official said.
Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had reportedly thrown a security net and blocked all possible access to Naveed’s family immediately after his arrest.
But even if one of the calls go through, Naveed cannot speak directly to anyone in Pakistan from the jail he is currently in. “One cannot make a phone call to Pakistan from Jammu and Kashmir. So Naveed’s numbers can be tried through a conference call originating from outside the state. If he asks, the Pakistan high commission can be asked to look for his family,” an official said.
Naveed had given around half-a-dozen phone numbers of his family members, mentor and employer but all of these were switched off. Hindustan Times managed to briefly speak to his father once but the number has remained unreachable after that.
Naveed had told security forces after his arrest that he is from Faisalabad and has two brothers and a sister.
Overcome by an intense longing for his family and home, the militant initially wept a lot in jail. He has calmed down after meeting a few accomplices, arrested later and sent to the same jail.