`I conferred with ISI on Kasab`s Pak identity`
Islamabad: Pakistan`s sacked National Security Adviser Mahmood Durrani has claimed that he had "written authority and had conferred with the ISI" chief before admitting before the media that 26/11 Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Kasab was a Pakistani, shows a US cable revealed by WikiLeaks.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani axed Durrani Jan 7, 2009, and a day later he met US Ambassador Anne Patterson.
Durrani told Patterson that he had consulted with ISI chief General Shuja Pasha and got his approval about announcing that Kasab was Pakistani.
Kasab was among a group of 10 terrorists from Pakistan who sneaked into Mumbai Nov 26, 2008 and let loose a reign of terror that left 166 people dead. Kasab was the only one to be captured alive by security forces.
The ISI chief had been very specific that the government wanted to disseminate that information, reported Dawn.
The cable points out Durrani saying he was one of the four people authorised, in writing, to make such statements on behalf of the government.
The Pakistan government, however, did not coordinate release of the information - with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir first denying it and then confirming it.
The Prime Minister learnt about the statements when he was in Lahore and out of the loop, the cable says and Gilani decided to fire Durrani for not consulting with him.
The US envoy went on to say that Gilani had received a memo authorising Durrani to confirm Kasab`s nationality, but the prime minister may not have seen it.
Durrani claimed that after he was sacked, President Asif Ali Zardari thrice called him and apologised.
"All I can say is that he apologised three times," the cable quotes Durrani as saying.
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