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The terrorists could have come from our soil: Pakistan

December 30, 2008 23:13 IST
Last Updated: December 31, 2008 13:49 IST

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After weeks of denying the possibility, Pakistan turned around on its position --  admitting to CNN-IBN that some or all of the terrorists who carried out the 26th November attacks on Mumbai -- could have been Pakistani nationals.
In an exclusive interview to the channel's India at 9 show, Pakistan's National Security Advisor Mahmud Ali Durrani said Pakistan was examining the letter written by the lone arrested attacker Ajmal Kasab.

When asked if he would admit that Kasab [Images] and some or all of the 10 attackers could have been Pakistani, Durrani said  "could be�could be- that's all I will say as of now, while the investigations are still being completed".
Durrani's comment comes a day the Pakistan government softened its war rhetoric. Durrani said categorically that no extra troops mobilization had occurred on the Pakistani side of the border and the Line of Control [Images] in the last few weeks.

Clling for calm, Durrani appealed for India and Pakistan to work together to "remove the menace of terror" from this region of the world. 

The full transcript of the interview with Anubha Bhonsle and Suhasini Haidar:
You are saying it's time to reduce tensions- but Pakistan is doing the opposite with its statements on 26/11- today you say no evidence- but even the evidence India gives publicly is not enough- a letter from Kasab appealing for recognition is ignored, despite his parents owning up to him- don't you think this adds to the mistrust from New Delhi [Images]?

A: We have got that letter. I have seen that letter. We have been provided some intelligence information and based on these intelligence information we are working out. We are trying to investigate on our own, we are looking at what you have given us and trying to connect the dots but it takes time and to convict somebody if there is proper proof in the court of law you need more than this that all I don't think there is denial. There is nothing wrong everything is right that's not true we have this problem between our two countries there could be possible connection and we are looking at that could be ill not say more than that because we don't have to say this but we don't have proof.
A possible connection? Much of the heartburn has been because of Pakistan's outright denial that the Mumbai [Images] attacks were planned in Pakistani- Will you at least admit at this point that some if not all the attackers could have been from Pakistan?

"Could be�could be- that's all I will say as of now, while the investigations are still being completed".

Mr Durrani, that is the big news point you are giving us. We also saw the Foreign Minister Quresihi today telling India to de-escalate - to stand down from bases- but the impression worldwide and in Delhi is quite the reverse- that Pakistan, not India has moved troops to its eastern border, diverted airstrike capability, and raised the war alert?
I think what happens is the situations like this truth becomes the casualty. Bottom line is Pakistan does not want confrontation with India because it is neither in the interest of India nor in the interest of Pakistan. We in Pakistan want to cooperate with India to get rid of the region of  terrorist agenda and I think it is mandatory if we don't play in the hands of  the bad guy.
You say truth is the casualty- then will you say categorically tonight that Pakistan has not mobilised troops at all in the past few weeks?

Well, I would like to say that we are not mobilised we are not on a high alert... yes some elements of our military would be on high alert because the worry is that probably there has been limited amount of mobilisation from India this is our assessment and to protect our self there was a level of alert not more than�It was a reaction more than an action.
Can you understand the frustration in New Delhi though? Since 26/11 we have seen several U-turns, including the arrest of Maulana Masood Azhar, confirmed by your defence minister, denied a week later. How do you expect New Delhi to trust Islamabad [Images]?

No, no, I think that is a  bit of an unfair comment. I think Indian people are like people of Pakistan they have been violated by terrorists. I can see their anger but all I am trying to draw attention of the Indian nation that Pakistan has been violated far more aggressively by  terrorists, So pushing Pakistan  into a corner is only going to play in the hands to bad guys in the hands of terrorist we need to cooperate we need to work together we need to  we need get over on mistrust that have been haunted us for years. 
You have asked for the dialogue between India and Pakistan to be resumed- given the levels of trust is that at all likely?

Lets not fool us sometimes what distrust does it you put 2 n 2 together and instead of making 4 you make 22 unfortunately that is what happening now.

For example, take Masood Azhar now genuinely we want to take hold of him but he has vanished we don't know where he is what is wrong in that I mean you don't you trust us in that . Similary there are other you know lot of things are said in Indian media particularly your kind of media and so people react here and similarly there is something said there people react there but really I think what we need to cool down little bit and see what the problem is. The problem is terrorism and they are enemies of India and they are enemies of Pakistan. We need to put our heads together, we need to join our hands to get rid of this menace from the region of the world. Don't push Pak into a corner and work with them. I mean let us cooperate.
Many say Pakistan's new softened position is really because the international community is putting pressure. Isn't it true Pakistan is in financial trouble and can't afford a war?
No that again is an unfair assessment I think Pakistan has an economic problem and that happened because of the energy fuels the prices going up food crises so this government even it came in it was hit by two-three things and these have people worried. We want to get out of this, it is a global phenomena and nobody is pushing us � they are independent issues so why are you connecting them.
Courtesy: CNN-IBN

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