A Pakistan-based man has identified himself to Hindustan Times as the “unfortunate father” of the militant captured after a deadly attack in Udhampur even as India and Pakistan wrangled over the nationality of the attacker.
“I’ll be killed. The Lashkar is after us and the fauj is after us,” Mohammad Yakub told Hindustan Times in chaste Punjabi when contacted on a phone number disclosed to interrogators by the detained terrorist, Mohammad Naveed.
“You are calling from India. We’ll be killed. I am the unfortunate father,” said Yakub, who sounded flustered when he answered the call.
“The Lashkar is after us. They probably wanted him (Naveed) dead and not caught alive. Please spare him,” Yakub said, referring to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based militant group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The call was made at 1.22pm and lasted 80 seconds before a frightened Yakub hung up. The phone has been switched off since then.
Naveed, who also goes by the name Usman Khan, was caught by villagers on Wednesday, hours after he and an accomplice ambushed a Border Security Force truck and killed two troopers.
He told interrogators he came from Pakistan to “kill Hindus” and that “it’s fun doing this”. Naveed also told his interrogators that he belonged to the LeT.
Pakistan has said Naveed is not its citizen , but Indian authorities dismissed the claim on Thursday.
“We have seen media reports and cannot respond on that basis. We expect the Indian authorities to share information on claims being made in the media,” a Pakistan foreign office spokesperson said.
Sources in Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) told local journalists that its records had revealed Naveed was not their national. Pakistani officials termed India’s claims of Naveed being a resident of Faisalabad in Pakistani Punjab as “unwarranted and unsubstantiated’’ .
Pakistani journalists were stopped from going to towards Ghulam Mohammadabad area of Faisalabad, the address provided by Naveed.After the Mumbai carnage in 2008, Pakistani security agencies had thrown a cordon around Faridkot village, the hometown of Ajmal Kasab, the sole attacker to be captured alive. The influential Dawn newspaper later interviewed Kasab’s father while a reporter from the Geo News channel used a spy camera to speak to other people who said Kasab lived in Faridkot. Media outlets that reported on Kasab’s Pakistani identity were labelled "anti-national".
Mohammad Naveed, the sole militant caught alive after a terrorist attack on a BSF convoy that was travelling on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Udhampur district about 85km from Jammu, on Wednesday, August 05, 2015. (HT Photo).
India will take up Pakistan’s denial of Naveed’s citizenship at an upcoming meeting of National Security Advisors. Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval are slated to meet later this month to “discuss all issued related to terrorism” as agreed on in a joint statement issued in Ufa, Russia following a meeting between prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on July 10.
Since the Ufa meeting, India has objected to several violations of the ceasefire along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir and infiltration attempts. There were two militant attacks, in Gurdaspur on July 27 and in Udhampur on Wednesday, that were blamed on Pakistani terrorists.
Catching Naveed alive bolsters India’s contention that Pakistan continues to allow its soil to be used to export terrorism.
Members of the village defence committee and police captured Naveed on Wednesday after an attack on the BSF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. His accomplice was killed by an alert BSF trooper who opened fire after the bus they were travelling in was attacked.
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In pics: 1 militant killed, 1 captured alive in Udhampur