The two Pak Majors who shaped the Mumbai 26/11 attack
New Delhi, Nov 26: Earlier this year, a non-bailable warrant was issued against two Pakistan officials, Major Pasha and Major Iqbal in connection with the 26/11 attacks. Today marks the 12th year since 10 Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists attacked Mumbai in which 170 lives were lost.
The warrant issued appears to be a mere formality, since Pakistan for long has denied the existence of these two persons. The Indian prosecution says Major Pasha has retired, but Major Iqbal continues to work in the ISI. It was Iqbal who in fact was the handler for David Coleman Headley and with his expertise in the Pakistan spy agency, he managed to help survey the targets that were hit on that fateful night.
While Pakistan denied the existence of these two persons, who are shown as wanted accused in the chargesheet filed by the NIA, it was David Headley who spilled the beans on the two.
In his testimony before a court in the United States, Headley identified Major Iqbal as Choudhary Khan. However the court in Chicago turned a complete blind eye where the case relating to Major Iqbal was concerned. His name cropped up several times in the trial, but he got away in the US court.
The National Investigation Agency feels that the Iqbal-Headley link is a crucial one. It was Iqbal, who guided Headley all through the operation. Despite being part of the Pakistan establishment, he moved the money to Headley via a hawala transaction.
Investigations showed that Iqbal had handed Headley 25,000 USD for his expenses in India.
Further it was also found that Iqbal had moved fake currency to the tune of Rs 12 lakh. This money was sent to a tout, who in turn exchanged the same for real currency and handed out the same to Headley.
Headley in his testimony before the court here had claimed that during the conspiracy to commit the terror attacks in Mumbai, Major Iqbal and Major Pasha were present in the meetings during which targets were selected.
LeT operatives Sajeed Mir, Abu Kaahfa and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were also present in the meetings, Headley had said.
Headley had visited Mumbai in September 2006 and informed Major Iqbal about his surveillance of Hotel Taj in south Mumbai and on his return to Pakistan, he had handed over photographs and videos of the same.
He also said that Major Iqbal gave him USD 25,000 to do intelligence work in India.
Headley further claimed that Major Iqbal had asked him to also get classified information about Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) here and of political party Shiv Sena's office, 'Sena Bhawan', located in central Mumbai.
He said he had also received Rs 80,000 from Major Pasha for carrying out surveillance work in India.