Headley confession, Pak’s `all or nothing` approach led to breakdown

Failure of Pak`s approach towards talks & Headley`s confession on ISI role led to Qureshi`s outburst.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Sources at the Centre have revealed that it was the David Headley confession on ISI’s support to the Mumbai attacks and failure of Pakistan’s "all or nothing" approach towards bilateral talks led to the outburst of Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad after talks with his Indian counterpart SM Krishna.

Home secretary GK Pillai had earlier stated that ISI was "literally controlling and coordinating the (Mumbai) attack from beginning to end". This had led Qureshi to equate him with Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed who is wanted by India for masterminding the attacks.

The sources said the contents of Pillai`s statement had already been conveyed to Pakistan.

"For rest of the information, India has told Pakistan to get in touch with the US Department of Justice and FBI. Home Secretary has only repeated what the Pakistani agencies and government are well aware of," the source said.

India sees the outburst as an effort to divert attention from the issue of terrorism and feels that Qureshi could have been forced to do so by elements in Pakistan who want to scuttle the talks.

In revelations that clearly show ISI role in the 26/11 attacks, Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley has told his interrogators that the Pakistani intelligence agency had paid Rs25 lakh to the Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) to purchase a boat which terrorists used to travel from Karachi.

Headley also identified through voice sample test two ISI officers who handled the 10 terrorists who carried out 60-hour attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

Giving these bits of information on the basis of interrogation of Headley carried out by an NIA team recently, official sources in New Delhi said the ISI role in the attack was very clear from the revelations made by the LeT operative who is in the custody of FBI.

The ISI had paid Rs25 lakh to the LeT for purchase of a boat which was used by the 26/11 attackers to travel from Karachi to the Pakistani maritime boundary, where they hijacked an Indian fishing boat `Kuber` to reach Mumbai.

Sources said Indian investigators also have information that chief of ISI Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha had met one of the handlers of the Mumbai attack, Sajjid Mir, who is currently in a Pakistani jail.

"All these information have been shared by India with Pakistan through the multiple dossiers given to it," a source said.

Sources said while India is very clear that no
meaningful engagement can take place in absence of credible
action by Pakistan on its core concern of terrorism emanating
from Pakistani soil, Islamabad has been insisting on a
"time-line road-map" on all issues under the Composite

India has asserted that it does not have any problem
in discussing all issues with Pakistan but needed some forward
movement on terrorism directed against the country, including
action against those involved in 26/11 terror attacks.

However, Pakistan has been insisting that all issues
such as Jammu and Kashmir, Sir Creek should be discussed and a
road-map drawn, the sources said, adding, "let`s do what the
traffic can bear."

"There were no surprises from the India side which
wanted graduated steps in improving the relationship....But
Pakistan insisted on an all-or-nothing approach...They wanted
a grand curtain-raiser on all issues under the Composite
Dialogue," the sources said.

Qureshi`s statement was nothing but a diversionary tactic of Pakistan as it was yet to take any action on India`s core concerns like infiltration into India which has increased in recent days, and providing the voice samples of terrorists and their handlers involved in the Mumbai attack, sources said.

"The hawks in Pakistan do not want Indo-Pak talks. These elements could be behind the sudden outburst of Qureshi," a source said.

-PTI inputs