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Secret document possible key to PM’s bold initiative

A dossier given by Islamabad to New Delhi over the 26/11 Mumbai attacks is so damning for Pakistan that it may well have convinced India it’s dealing with a reformed neighbour and that there is a need to change the rules of engagement. Pakistan admits unequivocally in the 36-page document accessed by HT that the 26/11 attacks were “planned, funded and facilitated” in Pakistan by LeT activists, reports Vinod Sharma. The Pakistan dossier | What's new

india Updated: Jul 27, 2009 01:20 IST
Vinod Sharma

A dossier given by Islamabad to New Delhi over the 26/11 Mumbai attacks is so damning for Pakistan that it may well have convinced India it’s dealing with a reformed neighbour and that there is a need to change the rules of engagement. The Pakistan dossier

Pakistan admits unequivocally in the 36-page document accessed by HT (the first by any media outfit; extracts on Page 8) that the 26/11 attacks were “planned, funded and facilitated” in Pakistan by activists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). What's new

The dossier said the investigators "unanimously agreed that substantial incriminating evidence is available on the record directly connecting the accused persons with the commission of the offence". http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/images/taj.jpg

Pakistan had initially denied its citizens carried out the attacks or that they were planned on its soil. It even denied Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving 26/11 terrorist, was a Pakistani.

It changed very slowly and reluctantly under relentless Indian and international pressure. And went on to arrest five persons. Among them is LeT’s Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who has been projected as the “mastermind” in the dossier.

Lakhvi and four others have been charged in an anti-terrorist court in Pakistan with the “planning, preparation and execution” of the terrorist attacks. They functioned as “operational handlers” of the 10 terrorists who created mayhem on 26/11.

The Indian High Commission in Pakistan received this dossier on July 11, less than a week before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani at Sharm el- Sheikh in Egypt.

It remained unclear whether Islamabad’s 26/11 probe encouraged Singh to agree to the India-Pakistan joint statement that left scope for a broader engagement if Pakistan delivers on action against terrorism.

A month before meeting Gilani, the Indian premier bluntly told President Zardari at Yekaterinburg, Russia: “My mandate is limited to telling you that the territory of Pakistan must not be used for terrorism against India.”

Then came the dossier.

It said the five men in jail and those absconding “conspired, abetted, planned, facilitated, made preparations, financed, trained (and) established communication network to carry out terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26-28, 2008.”

On the basis of their own DNA tests and digital fingerprints provided by India, Pakistani investigators identified two of the nine terrorists killed in Mumbai as Imran Babar of Multan and Mohammad Altaf of Burewala. And owned up Kasab.

GPS data and coordinates supplied by India helped Pakistani investigators establish the accused persons’ visits, among other places, to LeT’s training site in Karachi codenamed Azizabad.

The investigators recovered militant literature, a map of the Indian coastline, inflatable lifeboats, notes on navigational training and a cellular service form in the name of Sabir Salfi, a crew of the boat Al-Hussaini used in the operation.

The dossier named those who purchased in Karachi a Yamaha motor engine that was seized in Mumbai later. It referred to another training camp used by the 26/11 planners in Thatha (Sindh). Training instructions, swimsuits, a Hora (small boat) engine and an anchor were recovered from that camp and a creek near it.

The dossier also recorded the use of ABL bank and Muslim Commercial Bank in Pakistan by the planners to raise money for the operation – persons named were Shahid Riaz and Hammad Amin Sadiq.

All this established very clearly the origin and end-use of funds available to the gang. There were heavy deposits and withdrawals from these accounts as the planners went shopping for the assault on Mumbai.