Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 16. Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks happened because both India and Pakistan were not interacting and sharing information with each other.
“We failed to prevent 26/11 because we were not talking to each other,” said Malik while delivering a lecture at the Observor Research Foundation during the last day of his visit.
Malik said Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley was a triple agent. “A US passport holder, Headley conspired with Al-Qaida 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,” he said.
Malik said Jundal, arrested in Saudi Arabia and deported to India, has confessed to have met Headley, who, in turn, was in touch with Kashmiri.
“So it is not a state-sponsored drama, a state-sponsored action. It is an action by non-state actors. Triangular nexus between Headley, (Ilyas) Kashmiri, the enemy of Pakistan, a Major who deserted the Pakistan Army, having joined LeT and of course the three Indians,” he said.
“Headley was interacting with Indian and Pakistani non-state actors to coordinate the attacks. But for whom he was coordinating? Who was the third party,” questioned Malik. Headley, Malik said, was once arrested by the drug enforcement agency (DEA) of the US. “But how he managed to operate freely is a mystery. He came from the US. He had money and credit cards. He moved all over and even managed to create a social circle,” said Malik.
“All this should have come to the attention of some agencies. But the agencies failed, both here and Pakistan. We failed because we were not interacting,” he said.
Referring to Jundal, who was present in LeT control room during 26/11 attack, Malik said: “He was a known criminal, having been charged in many cases. He also worked as one of the sources of a very elite agency of India. Now, see, he has used agencies also and 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 went to Pakistan.”
On Ilyas Kashmiri, Malik said, he was a part of the conspiracy to kill former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto. On Hafiz Saeed, one of the suspects in the Mumbai attacks, Malik said: “The determination of Pakistan is very much there to arrest him but with evidence.”