'Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national…’
'Laskar-e-Tayiba terrorists were trained near Thatta in Sindh and were launched by sea.’
'The boat used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler was painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators in Pakistan’
Almost every claim made by India about Pakistan’s role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks has been backed by Tariq Khosa, head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency that probed the attacks.
After seven years of refuting charges, a Pakistan official has admitted to the country’s role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
In a column published in the leading daily Dawn, a Pakistani investigator, who led the probe into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has said his country has to deal with the fallout of the mayhem "planned and launched from its soil" and this will require "facing the truth and admitting mistakes".
Tariq Khosa, who was made head of the Federal Investigation Agency weeks after the attack that killed 166 people in Mumbai, acknowledged that the trial of the seven men charged for the attacks had "lingered on for far too long” and Pakistan must ensure the "perpetrators and masterminds... are brought to justice'.
India has often raised objections to the slow trial in Pakistan of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the mastermind of 26/11, who was arrested after the attacks and others who aided him.
The FIA was in-charge of the investigations related to the 26/11 attacks.
In the explosive column, Khosa admitted that Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured in Mumbai after the attack (and was later executed by India), hailed from Pakistan. “First, Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national, whose place of residence and initial schooling as well as his joining a banned militant organisation was established by the investigators,” he wrote.
He revealed that Laskar-e-Tayiba terrorists were trained near Thatta in Sindh and “were launched by sea”.
Ten terrorists reached Mumbai’s Macchimar colony in Cuffe Parade using a boat and later went on to launch the multiple attacks on November 26, 2008.
“The fishing trawler used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to harbour, then painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators and connected to the accused,” the former investigator said.
He also admitted that the engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists contained a patent number that was traced by investigators to Pakistan. It was imported from Japan to Lahore and then to a sports shop in Karachi from where the terrorists purchased it along with the dinghy.
According to him, the casings of the explosives used during the attack were recovered from the Sindh training camp.
Khosa also talked about the money trail that was followed and linked to the accused who was arrested.
“The ops room in Karachi, from where the operation was directed, was also identified and secured by the investigators. The communications through Voice over Internet Protocol were unearthed," Khosa wrote.
"…the alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested. A couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrested and brought to face trial," he claimed.
Khosa termed the Mumbai attacks as unique and emphasised on the need of legal experts from both India and Pakistan to “sit together rather than sulk and point fingers”.
In the opinion piece, he compared 26/11 to the massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar at the hands of Taliban on December 16 last year.
During a meeting in the Russia’s Ufa last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif agreed that the two sides will discuss ways to expedite the trial of the Pakistani suspects, including additional information like providing voice samples.
However, in a turnaround, Pakistan later asked for "more evidence and information" from India on the case.