Headley linking ISI to 26/11: Pak says he can`t be trusted

Rehman Malik questioned whether Headley could corroborate his claims about Pakistan`s spy agency.

Islamabad: Days after Pakistani-American LeT
operative David Headley implicated ISI in the Mumbai attacks
during his testimony in a US court, Interior Minister Rehman
Malik has described him as a convict who has "no credibility
and cannot be trusted."

In an apparent effort to play down Headley`s testimony
that detailed the alleged links of ISI officials to the 2008
attacks in India`s financial hub, Malik questioned whether
Headley could corroborate his claims about Pakistan`s spy

"Headley`s father was a Pakistani from a good family.
Headley himself is a criminal and a convict... This man has no
credibility and cannot be trusted," Malik told Newsweek
magazine in an interview.

Asked if he was concerned about Headley`s testimony at
the US trial of Tahawwur Rana, another key suspect in the
Mumbai attacks, and its repercussions for Pakistan, Malik said
if Headley "has credible evidence that can stand in a court of
law to support his claim that he was being aided by the ISI,
he should present it."

"He`s made videos of the places he was casing in Mumbai.
Does he have any recordings that corroborate his claims
against the so-called ISI major?" Malik said.

Testifying as a prosecution witness at Rana`s trial in a
federal court in Chicago, 50-year-old Headley said he worked
with ISI officers, including one Major Iqbal, on planning and
facilitating the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

He also told the court that the ISI coordinated
activities by LeT and other militant groups.

Six Pakistanis, including al Qaeda-linked terror
mastermind Ilyas Kashmiri and Major Iqbal, have been indicted
by US authorities in the Mumbai conspiracy.

Malik contended that Pakistan`s "hands are clean on
Mumbai, and India is aware of this."

He said: "We had no leads but managed to arrest seven
persons, non-state actors, with strong evidence of their
involvement in the attacks. We`re trying these men in our
courts now."

He pointed out that the ISI had been "exonerated" after
being linked to the bombing of the Samjhauta Express
cross-border train in India.

"You`ll see that happen in this (Mumbai) case, too,"
Malik said.

Asked if Pakistan was slow in moving against terrorists
and their supporters, he replied: "We asked India to provide
us substantive evidence against (LeT founder) Hafiz Saeed, but
we haven`t received it yet.

"When we got complaints about his fiery speeches, we
detained him. But the courts ordered his release, and we
respect the courts.

"Our laws need to keep up with the times and the threat.
Wiretaps and video confessions are not permissible in court.

We have a new anti-terrorism bill that covers these gaps and
the draft will be tabled soon for Parliament`s approval," the

Though Pakistani authorities arrested seven suspects
linked to the Mumbai attacks, including LeT commander Zakiur
Rehman Lakhvi, on the basis of information provided by India
and the US, hardly any progress has been made in their trial
by an anti-terrorism court.

The judge has been changed thrice and only one out of
over 160 prosecution witnesses has testified since the trial
began almost two years ago.

Responding to another question about the funding of
Taliban and other militant groups, Malik claimed, "Foreign
meddling in Pakistan is not a conspiracy theory, it`s very

Asked if he had raised this concern with Congress
President Sonia Gandhi or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when
he met them at the cricket World Cup semi-final in Mohali, he
said: "I discussed some of these things with Rahul Gandhi.

"I`m in contact with my Indian counterpart and we are
making progress. There`s a good chance that India and Pakistan
can become friendly by focusing on what is doable. There is no
substitute for talking."


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