Faridkot (Pakistan's Punjab province), Dec 7: Residents of a village in Pakistan Punjab's Okara District have reportedly told a British daily that Azam Amir Kasav, the surviving gunman involved in last week's terrorist attacks on Mumbai, hails from there.
According to a report in The Observer, electoral lists for Faridkot show 478 registered voters, including the name of Kasav's father Mohammed Amir. The paper further goes on to say that a villager, who cannot be named for his own protection, said the village was an active recruiting ground for the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba. "We know that boy [caught in Mumbai] is from Faridkot,' he said. 'We knew from the first night [of the attack]. They brainwash our youth about jihad, there are people who do it in this village. It is so wrong,' he added.
According to the villager and other locals, Azam has not lived in Faridkot for about four years but would return to see his family once a year and frequently talked of freeing Kashmir from Indian rule.
The truth about Azam's origins are key to the ongoing investigation of where the attackers came from and will have a profound impact on relations between India and Pakistan.
Islamabad has repeatedly said that no proof has been provided to back Indian accusations that all the gunmen came from Pakistan.
The terrorist outrage has pushed the two nuclear-armed countries to the brink of confrontation but, until now, there had been no solid evidence that any of the militants were from Pakistan.