Headley, army officer link: Pak dismisses media reports

Pakistan dismissed reports that LeT operative David Headley had linked serving Pakistani army officers to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday dismissed
reports that LeT operative David Headley had linked serving
Pakistani army officers to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, saying
they were based on "misguided leaks" aimed at maligning the

Asked about Indian media reports that Headley had
named three Pakistan Army officers who collaborated with the
terrorists responsible for the attacks, Foreign Office
spokesman Abdul Basit said they were based on "self-serving
and misguided leaks which are meant only to malign our
security agencies and Pakistan".

"These reports are not worth our comments," Basit
told a weekly news briefing at the Foreign Office.
Headley, who has confessed to plotting the deadly
26/11 attacks, is being questioned by a team of Indian
investigators in the US.

Basit said it was "important (and) high time" that
India dispensed with its "historical bias against Pakistan so
that our two countries can make a new beginning in South Asia
with a view to promoting peace and prosperity in our region".

The reports had said that Headley had told Indian
investigators who questioned him that three majors of the
Pakistan Army had collaborated with the terrorists who carried
out the attack.

Headley also purportedly said that members of the
Lashker-e-Taiba carried out the attacks under the "guidance"
of Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Basit also parried a question about US Assistant
Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake`s remarks that
the US administration had sought assurances from Pakistan that
weapons provided by America would not be used against India.

"He (Blake) has said what he had to say and I have
nothing to add to what he has said," Basit said.

The spokesman remarked that the trust deficit
between Pakistan and India was "not a new phenomenon" and has
been there "for decades because of several reasons".

Basit said: "We believe that in order to move
forward meaningfully with a view to bridging this trust
deficit, it is important that as agreed by the two Prime
Ministers in Thimphu that the two sides discuss all the issues
which continue to bedevil our relations."

Pakistan intended to discuss all these outstanding
issues when the Foreign Ministers of the two countries meet in
Islamabad on July 15, Basit said.

Basit indicated that the two sides had begun
preparing the grounds for the upcoming meeting between the
Foreign Ministers and a meeting between Pakistani Interior
Minister Rehman Malik and his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram
on the sidelines of a SAARC conference in Islamabad on June

Pakistan`s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik
had yesterday called on Chidambaram to discuss the forthcoming
meeting of the interior ministers.

"Overall, I think both our countries agree that we
need to move forward in a sustained manner so that the
engagement process is not disrupted again," Basit said.

"There is also a realisation that it is important
that we take meaningful steps forward so that the trust
deficit between our two countries can be bridged," he added.

In response to a question on the possible inclusion
of India as a permanent member of an expanded UN Security
Council, Basit said Pakistan wants reforms of the world body
to make it democratic, representative and transparent.

"We do not really support the expansion in the
permanent category of the Security Council. We are working
within the framework of the UN for consensus with other
like-minded countries and we have put on the table our
proposals," he said.