I take responsibility for terror list gaffe: Chidambaram
Facing embarrassment over the gaffe in the list of wanted terrorists handed over to Pakistan, Home Mister came out to defend the government.
New Delhi: Facing embarrassment over the gaffe in the list of wanted terrorists handed over to Pakistan, after one of the men Wazhul Qamar Khan, featuring in the list was found to be living in Thane in Mahrashtra, Home Mister P Chidambaram on Wednesday came out to defend the government.
Talking to media persons, the Home Mister said, “The mistake was a genuine human error and media should not blow it out of proportion.”
He added that the error occurred due to oversight by the Intelligence Bureau and Mumbai Police.
Explaining the reason for the goof up, Chidamabram said, “The Mumbai police arrested Khan in 2010, but they failed to formally communicate it to the CBI. So, CBI could not update its list.”
“Khan’s name was there in the list in 2007 also, so CBI had the old list,” he went on to explain.
He added “We will inform Pakistan soon that Wazahul Khan is not required.”
On being called ‘incompetent’ by the BJP for not being aware of the gaffe, Chidambaram retorted by taking a dig at the main opposition party. In an obvious reference to LK Advani, Chidamabaram asked, “The Home Minister of the NDA ruled government has said on record that he was not aware of the three terrorists who were taken to Afghanistan to exchange in lieu of the hijacked IC-814 fight. If terror list gaffe is the height of ‘incompetence’ then the Kandahar episode was the maximum level of economising the truth.”
It should be noted that, Khan`s name was 41st in the list of fugitives that include underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, his 20 aides, 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed and dreaded terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
The Indian government handed over the fugitive list to Pakistan shortly after the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a US covert operation near Islamabad.
The move was aimed at increasing the pressure on Pakistan to hand over fugitives wanted by India, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim but it ended up in a huge embarrassment for the central government which yesterday ordered a probe into how the goof up happened.