The fact that the likes of Sajid Mir are roaming free in Pakistan is worrying. Vicky Nanjappa reports
The hanging of Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab may have brought about a closure to many, but there is always a question mark over those who continue to walk free and threaten to carry out another 26/11-type attack in India.
While a lot that has been spoken about the Lakhvis and the Saeeds, the man who is still on the run is the international operative, Sajid Mir.
No amount of coaxing or requests by either India or the United States has led to access to Sajid Mir.
Pakistan still maintains that Mir is a case of mistaken identity and that he is nothing but a cleric.
While Islamabad can stick to that theory there is enough and more proof regarding Mir who had once travelled to India as a cricket fan and collected a lot of information that went into the planning of the 26/11 attack.
The intelligence on Mir suggests that he is very much in Karachi, Pakistan.
He is not part of any major operation today and is expected to lay low at least for another three to four years, intelligence sources told rediff.com, adding that Mir is under the protection of the ISI and there is no question of getting to him.
While Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed continue to inspire the youth, Mir is roped in when the ISI needs to plan things on an international scale.
Mir today, according to Intelligence agencies, has been handed out a task in Pakistan that involves tapping into networks and ensuring that there are no assassination plots in Pakistan.
According to the confession of Lashkar terrorist Abu Jundal, Mir was present in the 26/11 control room in Karachi. He hardly interacted with the operatives in Pakistan and was seen very less.
India has realized that getting to Mir is a near impossible task.
A lot would depend on how the US decides to handle the case against Mir.
Very recently, Washington had slapped sanctions on Mir and said that he was part of a core team that indulges in propaganda campaigns, financial networking and logistic support networks.
Mir, who joined the Lashkar in 2005, has been travelling the globe and setting up networks for the Lashkar. He has been indicted in absentia in Chicago and France.
Also, a lot of confusion still lurks around the two Majors, Sameer Ali and Iqbal. Pakistan has refused to acknowledge the presence of the Pakistani army officers.
However, after a great deal of probing, Indian agencies now feel that both these persons are the same and used different names for the operation. They are very much part of the Pakistan Army and are today back to work, Intelligence sources point out.