Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, September 30: “Let me reiterate that Pakistan is committed not to allow its territory for terrorist actions anywhere in the world.”
Uh-huh. “Interpol issues Pakistan army arrest warrants over Mumbai attacks,” by Dean Nelson and Praveen Swami for the Telegraph, October 8 (thanks to Johnny):
Interpol has issued warrants for the arrest of two serving officers in the Pakistan army for alleged involvement in the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, investigators said on Friday.
A third military figure, a retired Pakistan Army Major was also named as a suspect along with an al-Qaeda-linked commander and a leader of the Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), which carried out the Mumbai attacks in which 166 were killed.
By asking Interpol to issue warrants against two apparently senior Pakistan Army officers, India has intensified its campaign against Islamabad and strengthened its claim that some elements within Pakistan’s security forces supported the Mumbai attacks.
The development follows an admission by the former military ruler General Musharraf earlier this week that Pakistan had raised terrorist groups to attack India because of its refusal to negotiate over the dispute on the future of Kashmir.
Those named in the warrants include Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, a militant commander believed to be close to al Qaeda, Sajid Majid, a senior LeT figure also known as Sajid Mir, Major Syed Abdur Rehman, a retired Pakistan Army officer, and two serving officers named as Major Sameer Ali and Major Iqbal.
The officers are alleged to serve in Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency and were named by the LeT operative David Headley, who was arrested in Chicago last year as he was about to travel to Pakistan.
Headley, the son of an American mother and a Pakistani diplomat, was raised in Pakistan and educated at a military school. During interrogation he revealed he had carried out reconnaissance missions for the Mumbai terrorist attack and claimed that the two officers were his handlers.
Headley said both men spoke English, Hindi and Urdu, and alleged that Major Iqbal gave him $25,000 in cash in 2006 to visit India. India’s Ministry of External Affairs and its Ministry for Home Affairs, which is responsible for counter-terrorism, declined to comment on the Interpol notices yesterday.
But B. Raman, a retired senior Indian intelligence officer, said it was unlikely the warrant would have been issued without corroboration for Headley’s claims.
Indian investigators are alleged to have found evidence in an investigation into a man suspected of being an ISI agent in Uttar Pradesh.
Waqas Ahmad, who was arrested near Kanpur last year, was suspected of reporting back to the same telephone number in Pakistan that Headley said he had used to speak to his alleged handlers — three serving Pakistan officers. B Raman however said it was highly unlikely the officers would ever be identified or arrested.
“No one knows if these are their real names, it’s on the basis of what Headley said,” he said.