26/11 attack: Revelations by former Pak investigator an eye opener for all
The revelation by a Pakistani investigator who led the probe into the 26/11 attacks only reiterates what India has said since day one.
Tariq Khosa who was the head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency that probed the 26/11 attack in a column written in the popular newspaper, Dawn says, that his country has to deal with the fallout of the mayhem "planned and launched from its soil" and this will require "facing the truth and admitting mistakes".
The revelations come just a few days before the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan meet and it would be interesting to how this is debated.
However, the point that both India and Paksitan need to ponder over where Khosa says that legal experts of both countries need to sit together and discuss rather than sulk and point fingers.
The need to discuss the evidence:
Khosa's revelations are of extreme importance. He was the man who headed the investigation in Karachi and has first hand information on the attack, its planning and also execution.
However, both India and Pakistan appear to be stuck where the legalities are concerned. Khosa rightly points out the 26/11 case is quite unique as it was one incident with two jurisdictions. The attack took place in India while it was planned in Pakistan and hence there are two jurisdictions to the case.
Pakistan has often been saying that technical evidence such as voice samples are not admissible. However, Khosa calls the bluff and says that the New Fair Trial Act of 2013 caters for admissibility of technical evidence like voice samples and its application with retrospective effect is a moot point.
A bare reading of Khosa's article suggests that there is no way both India and Pakistan will move forward if they continue to sulk and point fingers.
Considering, this is a case of two jurisdictions, both legal experts from India and Pakistan would need to discuss the issue of legalities involved in the ongoing trial.
The need for superior evidence:
Khosa also makes another interesting point where he speaks about the need for superior evidence. He says that India managed to obtain Kasab's confession ahead of the trial in India. However, proving a conspiracy (hatched in Paksitan) would need superior quality of evidence as the issue is very complex.
India has very often blamed Pakistan for the lack of evidence that it has been providing. India has several hours of chatter that took place from the control room in Karachi from where the attackers were directed.
However, Pakistan has questioned the evidence especially in the case of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi who was also present in that control room.
For India to further substantiate its claim on Lakhvi it would require the voice samples which are available only in Pakistan. However the Pakistan court has rejected the taking of voice samples claiming that it is opposed to the law unless consent for the same is given.
Other observations by Khosa:
According to the article, Khosa says that there were seven key factors that were identified during the investigation. The factors listed by Khosa are:
- Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national whose place of residence, initial schooling and his joining of a banned militant group were established by investigators in Pakistan.
- The Thatta training camp in Sindh province where the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba trained the terrorists was identified.
- The fishing trawler used by the attackers for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to a Pakistani harbour, painted and concealed. But it was recovered by investigators and connected to the accused.
- The engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists near Mumbai harbour contained a patent number through which the investigators traced its import from Japan to Lahore and then to a Karachi sports shop from where a LeT-linked militant purchased it along with the dinghy.
- The money trail was followed and the accused who bought the engine was arrested.
- The "ops room" in Karachi, from where the attackers were directed, was identified and secured by investigators. Communications through voice over internet protocol (VoIP) were unearthed.
- The alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested and a couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrested and brought to face trial.