Ilyas Kashmiri may have aided 26/11 attacks: Pak

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 00:08

Islamabad: Slain al-Qaeda-linked
militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri "may also have been part" of
the Mumbai attacks but India`s claim that he may have been
supported by Pakistan is misplaced, Interior Minister Rehman
Malik has said.

Malik claimed he had confirmation that Kashmiri had
been killed in a US drone attack on June 3.

Malik said the Mumbai attacks were carried out by
non-state actors and "used against Pakistan".

Specially Designated Global Terrorist, Kashmiri "may
also have been part" of the 26/11 attacks but India`s
contention that he may have been supported by Pakistan is
misplaced, Malik said.

The Mumbai incident was used by "some forces" to
bring the two countries to war and it would have also
benefitted terrorists because any mobilisation of troops
against India would have relieved pressure on them on
Pakistan`s western border, he said.

Referring to the 2007 Samjhuata Express train
bombing, Malik expressed his satisfaction with the Indian
investigation into the incident but said that the two sides
should avoid misunderstandings and the blame game, which could
affect their relations.

Initially, the ISI was blamed for the Samjhauta
Express bombings but Malik congratulated the Indian government
for "getting to the bottom" of the matter.

The ISI was "vindicated in this case" he contended.
Pakistan wants to know who was behind the attack and
why these elements "wanted to blame the ISI and put India and
Pakistan on the warpath," he said.

It is important to identify the forces trying to
create hostility between the two countries, he added.

Referring to the alleged involvement of Indian Army
officer Col S P Purohit in the attack on the Samjhauta
Express, Malik said Purohit`s name was revealed by Indian
investigations and it was important to know "if he was working
alone or under instructions from somewhere."

"Also we need to find out if he (Purohit) had any
hand in some of the terror attacks in Pakistan," Malik said.

The bilateral relationship should not be tied to the
Mumbai and Samjhauta incidents and instead the two sides
should judge each other by their intentions, he said.

Malik said it was good that recent talks between
India and Pakistan had gone off well with both countries
showing positivity.

"Our government wants to build the kind of trust
between the two countries that will allow us to speak to each
other freely about our apprehensions," he said.

The leadership of both countries have taken the
initiative to end a "total deadlock" but it would be
unrealistic to think that 60 years of backlog can be wiped
away in a few days or meetings, Malik said.

Asked about the Indian External Affairs Minister`s
contention that mob boss Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan, Malik
said: "This is a big country. Our intelligence is that he is
not here, I can assure you. We believe he is in the Middle
East."

If Ibrahim is in Pakistan, authorities "will take
action", he claimed. Malik said he had checked immigration
records but "seen no movement in or out" by Ibrahim.

Authorities had also followed up on information provided by
India but they had drawn a blank, he said.

In response to another question, Malik said the
Kashmir issue cannot be resolved overnight. "Earlier, there
used to be only monologue on Kashmir. Now there is a dialogue.
Improved relations between India and Pakistan can pave the
roadmap for peace in the region," he said.

Referring to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao`s
statement talk dialogue on a compelx issue like Kashmir is not
possible under the shadow of gun, Malik said he agree with her
remarks. "We have done everything to stop infiltration. We
need to forget the language of guns. Let`s exchange hearts
not guns," he said.

Malik contended that regional peace is in danger and
Pakistan is the "shield" between what is happening in
Afghanistan and India. He hoped India and Pakistan would join
hands to fight terrorism. Friendship between the two countries
will have a "soothing effect on regional and world peace",
he said.

Noting that Pakistan and India should share real time
information on terrorism, Malik repeated his claim that he had
shared information with India suggesting that the Taliban.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 00:08

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