26/11 Attackers Were Asked To Kill Politicians, Foreigners, Says Pak Charge Sheet

Ajmal Kasab and nine other terrorists, who attacked Mumbai in November last year, were in constant touch with top Lashkar-e-Tayiba commanders in Pakistan during the strikes and received instructions to kill 'political leaders, foreigners and
26/11 attackers were asked to kill politicians...
PTI November 28, 2009 17:31 IST

Ajmal Kasab and nine other terrorists, who attacked Mumbai in November last year, were in constant touch with top Lashkar-e-Tayiba commanders in Pakistan during the strikes and received instructions to kill 'political leaders, foreigners and prominent personalities of India' .

This was stated in the six-page chargesheet filed against the seven suspects in custody in Pakistan, including 'mastermind' of the attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who is also the LeT's operations chief, and the terror group's communications expert Zarar Shah.

Apart from Lakhvi and Shah alias Abdul Wajid, a Rawalpindi-based anti-terror court has formally charged Hamad Amin Sadiq, Abu al Qama alias Mazhar Iqbal, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum for planning and helping execute the 26/11 strikes.

They have all pleaded not guilty. According to the chargesheet, a copy of which was accessed by PTI, Zarar Shah and Abu al Qama "remained in touch with the terrorist co-accused, including Kasab, during the attack through Voice Over Internet Protocol, satellite phone and cell phones while giving them instructions to commit maximum international murder of persons, including political leaders, foreigners and prominent personalities of India."

Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 attacks, is currently lodged in the high-security Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

The chargesheet states that all the seven suspects have been charged with committing 'international murder' (Qatal-e-Amd) under the Anti-Terrorism Act and murder and attempted murder under the Pakistan Penal Code.

The accused have been charged with involvement in the killing of 166 people and injuring 304 others at several sites in Mumbai. They allegedly provided training, funds, firearms, explosives, grenades, boats, cell phones and GPS systems to the ten terrorists who carried out the attacks. They have also been charged with hatching the criminal conspiracy behind the attacks.

"All the seven accused, in collaboration with the 20 absconding co-accused, had trained, instructed and provided funds and hideouts in Karachi to the ten terrorists before launching them (from Pakistan) for carrying out deadly attacks in India," the chargesheet states.

It says the first five accused Lakhvi, Shah, Sadiq, Abu al Qama and Riaz are active members of the Lashker-e-Tayiba while Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum provided Rs 39.84 lakh to the other accused through banks in Muzaffarabad, Karachi and Gujranwala to prepare for the attacks.

Referring to the first five accused, the charge-sheet states, "In active connivance (with) each other, they set up training camps i at Yousaf Goth (in) Karachi (and) Mirpur Sakroo (at) Tattha, Sindh under the operational command of Lakhvi."

The chargesheet adds that the five accused provided instructions and training in the use of firearms, explosives and other weapons and navigational training for 'commission of terrorism' to Kasab and the nine other terrorists, who were killed by Indian security forces.

Meanwhile, in Port of Spain, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that his country has made progress in the investigation against 26/11 perpetrators.

Qureshi said, Pakistan has filed chargesheet against seven accused and expressed hope that it will be able to convict them as it has "sufficient evidence" to argue a good case.  However, it charged India with providing "inadequate" evidence against Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the Mumbai terror attacks.

In an interview to an Indian news channel, Qureshi claimed that progress has been made in the 26/11 investigations with chargesheet already been filed against seven people, two of whom are main accused. 

"...They are under trial and we feel we have collected sufficient evidence against them to argue a good case for their conviction," he said.  But on Saeed, he said "the evidence provided is inadequate...We arrested him. The court let him go. Now, if we take him without sufficient evidence, he will go scot free. The evidence will not stand the test of scrutiny."

 "We have to move ahead. We want to prosecute them. We want to convict them. Not because you want us because today there is a realisation in Pakistan that these people are creating a havoc in Pakistan. They are destroying Pakistan's image internationally. They are not helping our economy. They are taking innocent lives....So, we have to do it for ourselves," Qureshi added. 

On meeting his Indian counterpart S M Krishna, Qureshi said Pakistan was always for dialogue but it has to be without any pre-conditions. PTI

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