Islamabad, Aug 27: David Headley was probably one of the most important links in the 26/11 attack. An agent of the CIA turned rogue, he was the one who landed in Mumbai and carried out the reconnaissance of the targets which were attacked on that fateful night of 26/11.
David Headley in a confession to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) speaks extensively about the attacks, his visit to Pakistan, the meeting with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba top brass.
However, Pakistan which has claimed that it is probing with all seriousness the 26/11 attack has not made a single effort to question Headley.
Why is Headley not being questioned?
Pakistan has been telling the world and India in particular that it is probing the 26/11 attack with all seriousness. India however, disputes that claim and says that the probe and the subsequent trial in Pakistan is moving at a snail's pace.
The question that comes to mind is why did Pakistan not bother questioning Headley? The most logical answer would be, "they did not want to."
Pakistan has instead chosen to ensure that the probe remains within their country. Headley has spoken in details about the links he had in Pakistan and even went on to speak about the mysterious Sajid Mir. Pakistan has often claimed that it had no concrete evidence against Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi or Hafiz Saeed.
Headley would have provided the answers to those questions. His confession to the FBI is admissible under law and this had in fact become the basis for his plea bargain deal. As per his plea bargain deal, Headley would not be extradited to India or Denmark and neither would be handed out the death penalty.
If India could then Pakistan should:
When it comes to David Headley, the FBI has been very careful about giving too much access. Officers of the National Investigating Agency had explained the ordeal behind the questioning of Headley. The questioning was allowed after a great deal of coaxing.
When Headley was questioned, the NIA found that he was in the midst of FBI officers and his lawyer. The questions had to be specific and the NIA was not allowed to divert too much. We pretty much had to stick to what he had already told the FBI.
While India did manage to get its answers from Headley, it however, did not manage to get a second round of questioning with Headley. What about Paksitan? Leave alone question him, they have not dealt with the Headley issue even once during their investigation. Headley's estranged wife, Faiza Outlha had spoken about meeting with Hafiz Saeed, but the Pakistani investigators did not take that seriously.
Moreover, Headley has made several key points which shows a direct link between the Pakistan establishment and the Lashkar which led up to the attack. However, the Paksitani investigators have not made any request so far to question Headley.
The Pakistan probe of 26/11 has several split ends:
The probe by Pakistan into the 26/11 attack has several split ends. Going by what the Pakistanis have probed so far, they have not connected the dots. The antecedents of the ten terrorists who carried out the attack is missing in the investigation.
The control room at Karachi from where the attack was guided is not part of the probe. The role of Sajid Mir and of course Hafiz Saeed draws a blank in the investigation papers. These were points that India wanted to make to Pakistan had the NSA level talks taken place.
However, the same stood cancelled over the Hurriyat issue.