Will Pakistan cooperate on Mumbai 26/11 probe?
New Delhi, May 28: The United States of America told Pakistan yesterday that it needs to cooperate with India on the Mumbai 26/11 attack probe. The US has been issuing such statements for long, but the big question is will Pakistan listen?
India however must not expect too much from Pakistan on this case. It was after all a state sponsored attack and Pakistan would go out of its way to protect its own.
An officer with the National Investigation Agency says that there are certain things that Pakistan could do if it really is serious and decides to cooperate.
What can Pakistan do?
First and foremost allow a team of the Indian investigators to question Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed who were the masterminds of the probe. They figure as accused in the case filed by both the Mumbai police and the NIA.
Pakistan would also do well if acted entirely on the confession made by David Headley before the US court as well as the court in India.
These testimonies have been accepted by both courts. Headley had made several revelations before the courts and also the FBI which clearly indicated the hand of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the ISI in the attack.
More importantly, Pakistan could give information about Sajid Mir, who continues to be a mystery man. His name has cropped up several times and he is the one who handled David Headley apart from guiding the attacks.
Mir's information is very crucial to the probe as there is a great deal of suspicion that he was a former ISI man pushed into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to oversee the attacks.
The role of two Majors in the Pakistan army is also under the cloud. Investigations have revealed that Majors Sameer Ali and Iqbal had played a crucial role in the case. Both were part of the establishment and were with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba cadres from day one till the attack ended.
While these are aspects that Pakistan will deny outright and term it as a fiction of imagination, the least they could do is at least speed up the trial against Lakhvi.
There is a sense of fear in the courts while handling the Lakhvi case. None of the lawyers are ready to fight against him and judges have sought to be recused in the case out of pure fear.
If Pakistan is serious then it could set the system in order and ensure that a fair and fearless trial is conducted.