Backing virtually every claim India has made about Pakistan’s role in the 26/11 attacks, the Pakistani investigator who headed his country’s probe has called for “facing the truth and admitting mistakes” while declaring that the attacks were “planned and launched” from “Pakistani soil.”
Tariq Khosa was the head of the Federal Investigating Agency or FIA. In an editorial for the Dawn Newspaper, Mr Khosa supports India’s version of how the 10 men who sailed into Mumbai in 2008 before pairing up to attack the city’s landmarks were guided on the phone by a terror control room in Karachi. “The ops room in Karachi, from where the operation was directed, was also identified and secured by the investigators. The communications through Voice over Internet Protocol were unearthed,” he writes.
Of the 10 terrorists who killed 166 people, Ajmal Kasab alone was caught alive. Kasab, Mr Khosa writes, “was a Pakistani national, whose place of residence and initial schooling as well as his joining a banned militant organisation was established by the investigator”. He says there was also enough evidence to prove that Kasab and the other terrorists were ” imparted training near Thatta, Sindh and launched by sea from there… the casings of the explosive devices used in Mumbai were recovered from this training camp and duly matched.
India has for years objected to the painfully slow trial within Pakistan of a group of men headed by Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the mastermind of 26/11, who was arrested after the attacks. Agreeing, Mr Khosa writes, “The case has lingered on for far too long. Dilatory tactics by the defendants, frequent change of trial judges, and assassination of the case prosecutor as well as retracting from original testimony by some key witnesses have been serious setbacks for the prosecutors.”
Lakhvi was freed by a local court which granted him bail earlier this year, creating a major stress point between India and Pakistan. “Are we as a nation prepared to muster the courage to face uncomfortable truths and combat the demons of militancy that haunt our land? That is the question!” he asks in his editorial.