Pakistan has pulled out all the stops to erase evidence that Mohammad Naveed Yakub is one of its own, following the captured Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant’s confession that he is from Faisalabad.
The young militant, who was arrested after an ambush on a BSF convoy in Udhampur on August 5, had told security forces as well as newspersons that he is from the city in Pakistan’s Punjab province and has two brothers and a sister. Later, he gave phone numbers as well.
Hindustan Times managed to speak to Naveed’s father a day after he was captured, but the phone is now perpetually switched off. His father spoke about threats from the military as well as the LeT, the Pakistan-based terror group behind the 2008 Mumbai carnage and many other attacks in India.
Besides his father, attempts were made to speak to bother-in-law Tahir, brother Nadeem Yakub, former employer Salamat Ali and Lashkar spotter Maulvi Bashir.
Salamat’s number has been deactivated while calls to Bashir went through but he didn’t answer. It was not possible to get through to the others.
“Naveed had provided names, phone numbers and occupation of his family members living in Faisalabad. Almost all numbers are switched off since his arrest. It is unlikely that ISI will allow Naveed’s family to switch on these numbers,” said a home ministry official.
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Truecaller, the contact list-sharing app that has a vast database of cell phone numbers, showed Tahir and Nadeem were registered under the same number.
Tahir’s number was registered as “Tahair Sir” on Truecaller, the “sir” referring to his profession. Naveed had told Indian investigators that his brother-in-law teaches at IMIT College, Faisalabad.
An online reference to an IMIT College computer teacher with Tahir as the first name was found. But it could not be verified if he is the relative Naveed was talking about.
According to Naveed, brother Nadeem teaches at Government College University in Faisalabad. His number was registered as “GCU Nadeem 6” on Truecaller, the initials giving away the Government College University link.
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The number of Naveed’s former employer was registered as Tauseef Umar Shah. That holds water too because the militant had told interrogators he worked at Faisalabad hosiery company Tauseef Textiles before joining the terror group.
Also, details about Naveed have been removed from Pakistan’s citizenship list, the National Database & Registration Authority or NADRA, sources said.
Such attempts were not uncommon as Pakistani spy agency ISI had tried to wipe out the trail of Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. “Kasab’s family was taken into protective custody. It is quite possible, Naveed’s family may have met the same fate,” an investigator said.
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