The claim by Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik [ Images ] -- that terror operative Abu Jundal is an agent of the Intelligence Bureau -- has come in for ridicule by the agency.
An officer of the IB told rediff.com that the claim by the Pakistan minister was "utter rubbish".
He explained that Pakistan was worried about the fact that Jundal was in the custody of Indian agencies as he was a crucial link to Islamabad's [ Images ] connection to terror activities in India.
"Pakistan had safeguarded Jundal for nearly three years after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai [ Images ]. Even his shift to Saudi Arabia was completely monitored by Pakistani security agencies, which desperately wanted to oversee the operations of the Indian Mujahideen [ Images ] there," said the officer.
He added that it took Indian agencies nearly a year to trace Jundal to Saudi Arabia as he was constantly being monitored by the Inter Services Intelligence.
A year and a half ago, when India learnt about Jundal's whereabouts, they started putting together the case against him for an extradition. Though three attempts were made to extradite Jundal by Delhi [ Images ], Pakistan managed to block all of them.
There was immense pressure on the Saudi authorities to not allow the extradition of Jundal. But India's fool-proof case against the terror operative finally ensured the extradition.
According to the IB official, the claim by Malik is a desperate attempt to cover up Pakistan's role in the attack.
During his interrogations, Jundal had not only spoken about members of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] but also detailed the role of the Inter Services Intelligence and the Pakistan Army [ Images ] in the 26/11 terror strike.
The official pointed out that Pakistan was not particularly worried about Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab [ Images ] being in India's custody.
Kasab, who was arrested during the 26/11 strike and later hanged, was merely a foot soldier who carried out the instructions given to him by his leaders. He had no great insights about the Pakistan establishment's role in the attack.
But Jundal's statements and his trial before an Indian court was likely to place Pakistan in a sticky situation, said the official.