ISI orchestrated 26/11 Mumbai attacks: Slain Pak journalist

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Syed Saleem Shahzad
Islamabad, Jun 2: It's a truth India always knew, US knows but prefers to live in denial and Pakistan as usual has chosen not to give credence to the fact that everyone in its government and army was aware of it. But political interests have never failed to dampen the spirit of journalists who are committed to bring out the truth - only the truth no matter if that comes at the cost of country or life. And one such example is Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistani journalist who has allegedly been killed by the country's spy agency ISI.

With the extensive media coverage that has followed his abduction and murder, people around the world have been aware of why it happened. It happened because the ISI didn't want him to expose the truth about their organisation, their country and their complicity in terrorist activities. They killed him to ensure that he doesn't live to narrate Pakistan's hand-in-glove role with the various terror outfits that are thriving in the country, but little did they know that truth always finds a way to come out.

In a book titled Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taleban -- beyond bin Laden and 9/11', written by Shahzad before his abduction and murder, he has described the 26/11 Mumbai attacks as one pushed through by Ilyas Kashmiri, planned and orchestrated by the ISI officers and embraced and performed by the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Following are excerpts of the book, published by The Dawn on Jun 1:

"With Ilyas Kashmiri's immense expertise on Indian operations, he stunned the al-Qaeda leaders with the suggestion that expanding the war theatre was the only way to overcome the present impasse. He presented the suggestion of conducting such a massive operation in India as would bring India and Pakistan to war and with that all proposed operations against Al-Qaeda would be brought to a grinding halt. Al-Qaeda excitedly approved the attack-India proposal.

Ilyas Kashmiri then handed over the plan to a very able former army major Haroon Ashik, who was also a former LeT commander who was still very close with the LeT chiefs Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza.

Haroon knew about a plan by Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that had been in the pipelines for several months with the official policy to drop it as it was to have been a low-profile routine proxy operation in India through LeT.

The former army major, with the help of Ilyas Kashmiris men in India, hijacked the ISI plan and turned it into the devastating attacks that shook Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and brought Pakistan and India to the brink of a war."

Shahzad went missing just four days after authoring an article which alleged that the al-Qaeda had attacked the Mehran naval base near Karachi to secure the release of personnel detained on suspicion of links with the terror outfit.

Later his dead body was found near his car in Islamabad.

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