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Mumbai 26/11: Enough of the revelations, act instead

By Vicky

Another book and another startling revelation regarding the Mumbai 26/11 attack. This time the book is India vs Pakistan: Why Can't We Just Be Friends written by former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani.

The book narrates what former ISI chief, Shuja Pasha had said about the attacks. According to the book he had said the planners of the attack (26/11) were "our people" but it wasn't "our operation."

26/11: Another book, more revelations

This revelation is said to have been made by Pasha during his visit to Washington on December 24, 2008. Pasha is right to a certain extent, but wrong in a lot of ways.

In fact it was the ISI which snatched the 26/11 idea from Ilyas Kashmiri, the operations chief of the al-Qaeda and handed it over to the Lashkar-e-Taiba in a bid to keep the outfit united. The other pertinent question is why did Pasha not act against his hamare log (our people) if he knew it was them.

Just another revelation

There have been several such revelations relating to the 26/11 attack in the past. However none of it have made any difference to the Pakistanis. Sajid Mir who was with the ISI before being moved to the Lashkar-e-Taiba has never been arrested.

Major Samir Ali and Iqbal have not been identified by the ISI despite India sharing an ample lot of information on them.

When Pasha speaks about the hamare log, he refers to the retired officials in the ISI. The ISI always deploys the services of the former officials as it gives them a deniability factor when a probe leads up to the establishment. There is really no point in these revelations that half the world knows about. The real news is in the action, which unfortunately Pakistan will not take.

The 26/11 was an ISI operation

No matter what Pasha or the rest may have claimed the 26/11 attack was, an operation was planned and staged by the ISI.

First and foremost, attacks of such a magnitude do not take place without the approval of the ISI. There was a lull in the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Pakistanis had been cornered by the US to fight against the Taliban.

The support that Pakistan had been giving to the US was frowned upon by the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Lashkar-e-Taiba felt that Pakistan should not support the war against their own brothers in Afghanistan (read Taliban).

There was a sense of discontentment among the ranks and the Lashkar-e-Taiba was heading for a two way split with most of the cadres saying that they would go to Afghanistan and join the Taliban.

The ISI needed some course correction and to see its proxy split was not something that was acceptable to the spy agency. It was at this time that Ilyas Kashmir who headed the 313 Brigade of the al-Qaeda had been planning an operation called as the Ghazwa-e-Hind or the destruction of India.

The late Syed Saleem Shahzad who was the Chief of the Asia Times had told this correspondent in 2009 that while he had interviewed Kashmiri this fact had come to light. Kashmiri had been planning a series of attacks in India including one at Mumbai.

Shehzad had said that the plan was hijacked by the Pakistani security agencies.

As a run up to the attacks, several small attacks were planned in India on the instructions of General Asfhaq Kayani who was then the ISI director general.

Shahzad believes Kashmiri was in the know about the Mumbai attacks. The journalist feels the plan for the Mumbai attacks was originally conceived by a Pakistani security agency.

As a run-up to the Mumbai attacks several low profile attacks were carried out in India. Under the direction of General Ashfaq Kayani -- then the Inter Services Intelligence director general; now the Pakistan army chief -- low key attacks were initially planned in Kashmir.

This plan continued when General Nadeem Taj took over as ISI chief after Kayani was promoted to his present position. After Al Qaeda representatives stepped in, they suggested that instead of carrying out a low-profile attacksMumbai be targeted instead.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba and the ISI handlers disassociated with the original plan of attacking Kashmir and decided to go ahead with the Mumbai attacks.

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