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Malik on 26/11 strike: Indian, Pak agencies failed

Last updated on: December 16, 2012 18:47 IST

'It is action by non-state actors'

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Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday blamed Indian security agencies for their failure to prevent the Mumbai terror attack and alleged that Indian non-state actors were involved in the massacre.

Malik also said that more interaction between Pakistan and India and regular sharing of information could have prevented the 26/11 attack.

He said Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley had conspired with Al Qaeda terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, a retired major of Pakistan Army and three Indian terrorists -- Abu Jundal, Jabbiullah and Fahim Ansari -- and plotted India's worst terror attack.

"So it is not a state sponsored drama, state sponsored action. It is action by non-state actors," he said while delivering a lecture at the Observer Research Foundation.

Malik said during the investigation, it has come to be known that they carried out a reconnaissance of the targets without arousing the suspicion of law enforcement agencies.

"If you put things together, there are three guys, one coming from the US, and he has that money, he has got credit cards, he has moved all over, he had created franchise, he had created a social circle. All these should have come to the attention of some agencies. Now the agencies failed, both here and in Pakistan. So, we have failed. Why? Because, there was no interaction between Pakistan and India," he said.

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Image: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik with his Indian counterpart Sushilkumar Shinde
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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'I have to tell the truth to your country'

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"Of course, I have to tell the truth to your country, to your people so that we find a way forward. If you hide things, the things will continue to move same way and a time will come when you will not be able to handle and control it," he said.

Referring to Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Abu Jundal, who was present in LeT control room during 26/11 attack and was deported from Saudi Arabia recently, Malik said Jundal had confessed that he was a known criminal.

"He also worked as one of the sources of a very elite agency of India. Now, see he has used agencies also and then went rogue. Put it another way, you become a source, you become a double agent. While he is working, living in India, he might have gone rogue and then these three individuals go to Pakistan," he said.

On Kashmiri, Malik said, he was a close aide of slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and was part of the conspiracy to kill former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto.

"Headley talked about a Major. I particular investigated that matter. We found the link. We arrested one Major Farooq. He is an ex-army man and he used to work for the LeT. We arrested him and that guy gave us a lot of information," he said.

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Image: The Taj Mahal Hotel during the 26/11 attack


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'There should be peace in Pakistan and Hindustan'

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"So, what I am emphasising, if we had interaction at the intelligence level, at the ministerial level, at the government level, at the diplomatic level, then we would have the opportunity to share our information. Maybe, had we interacted (before 26/11), we would have found out about Abu Jundal and Headley," he said.

Later, Malik offered prayers at the historic Nizamuddin shrine.

"My dua (prayer) here is that there should be peace in Pakistan and Hindustan," Malik told reporters after visiting the dargah.

The minister also said that all actions taken against terrorists should be successful.

"All the steps that we are taking against them and in favour of the people in Pakistan and India, I pray that God gives us success in that," he said.

Malik said those who indulged in terrorism should give up their approach and adopt the path of peace.

"May God grant wisdom to those who are involved in acts of terrorism and may they walk on the path of peace," he added.

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Image: David Headley


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'People of Pakistan want to see him'

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Malik, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, said he has come with a message of peace from his country and is taking the same message back.

"I came with the message of peace, love and friendship from the people of Pakistan. The message I got from here, Manmohan Singh, Shinde, and all those I meet everyone wants peace," Malik said.

"When the people in Pakistan and India want peace, then I pray all those who are creating hurdles in this process, Allah gives them wisdom and show them the right way," he said.

Malik said that both the nations are thirsty for peace.

"Both the countries are thirsty for one thing and that is peace. I pray from here that peace prevails. I appeal to the media and people in both the countries that it is time for peace," he said.

Malik also said that Dr Singh has deferred his much-awaited visit to Pakistan as the neighbouring country has not yet punished anyone involved in Mumbai terror attack.

Malik said Pakistan has already invited him to visit that country and on Saturday he had renewed that invitation.

"I told him that the people of Pakistan want to see him, especially the people of village Chatwal, where he was born. But his point of view was that 'my people here ask what you have done for the people who suffered during 26/11'. He has his points," he said.

The Pakistani leader said his country would be able to satisfy Dr Singh after the visit of the Second Judicial Commission which will cross-examine four Indian witnesses and would facilitate expediting the 26/11 case in Pakistan.

"Two-three things he had mentioned and I promised we will do it. The moment the second Commission comes, I have no doubt in my mind that we will be able to satisfy him. He has to satisfy his constituency. I think he wants to ensure that he has some good answer to that. We have to expedite the case. It was a good meeting. I am quite satisfied. I hope that he will reconsider the decision," he said.

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Image: Rehman Malik with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Courtesy: http://pib.nic.in/

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