New Delhi/Islamabad: A former top Pakistani security official has admitted for the first time that the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008 were launched from the Pakistani soil.
Tariq Khosa, former director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) tasked with probing the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has made the admission in an opinion piece published on the website of Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
“Pakistan has to deal with the Mumbai mayhem, planned and launched from its soil,” Khosa wrote in the backdrop of the Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan agreeing in Russia's Ufa recently that they were “prepared to discuss all outstanding issues”.
Nailing Pakistan's lie, the former FIA DG, who once supervised the Mumbai attacks probe, revealed certain “facts” including on Ajmal Kasab that he was from Pakistan.
“Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national, whose place of residence and initial schooling as well as his joining a banned militant organisation was established by the investigators,” Khosa wrote in the opinion piece while talking about the lone captured Mumbai attacks terrorist who was later executed by India.
He also admitted that the 10 terrorists who launched the deadly strikes on Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008 were from the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He also revealed that the terrorists were trained near Thatta in Sindh.
“The Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists were imparted training near Thatta, Sindh and launched by sea from there,” Khosa wrote.
The explosives used in the deadly terror attacks were also traced to this training camp, he stated further.
“The training camp was identified and secured by the investigators. The casings of the explosive devices used in Mumbai were recovered from this training camp and duly matched,” Khosa said.
He further revealed that the fishing trawler in which the terrorists set sail from Karachi to travel to Mumbai was traced back to Pakistan. The terrorists had hijacked an Indian trawler mid-way to land on Mumbai's shores and the Pakistani trawler was sent back.
“The fishing trawler used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to harbour, then painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators and connected to the accused,” Khosa disclosed.
“The engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists near Mumbai harbour contained a patent number through which the investigators traced its import from Japan to Lahore and then to a Karachi sports shop from where an LeT-linked militant purchased it along with the dinghy. The money trail was followed and linked to the accused who was arrested,” he went on to add.
The former FIA chief also admitted that the operations control room from where the terrorists were given instructions before and during the Mumbai attacks was set up 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.”
Talking about the arrests in the case, Khosa wrote, “The alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested... a couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were (also) arrested and brought to face trial.”
In his piece, Khosa calls on the Pakistani establishment to face the truth and admit mistakes.
“The entire state security apparatus must ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of the ghastly terror attacks are brought to justice. 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,” he wrote.
"Are we as a nation prepared to muster the courage to face uncomfortable truths and combat the demons of militancy that haunt our land?" Khosa asked, while concluding his piece.