Pak action on Saeed, Lakhvi was superficial, says Headley

RSTV Bureau
Islamabad : FILE - April 3, 2012, file photo of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Islamabad, Pakistan. The militant leader carry a $10 million bounty on his head over his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Islamabad : April 3, 2012, file photo of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Islamabad, Pakistan. The militant leader carry a $10 million bounty on his head over his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley’s tell-all to a Mumbai court continued for the fifth day in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai attack trial.

On Saturday, Headley told the court that his handlers in Pakistan assured him that “nothing will happen” to LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 probe. Headley revealed that he was told by his handlers that the action taken by Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency against them and other LeT members in 26/11 case will be “superficial”.

Sajid Mir of LeT said “both Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed are safe and nothing will happen against them,” revealed Headley.

He also told the court that Abdul Rehman Pasha, a former Pakistan army major who joined LeT and later al Qaeda, told him that the action taken by Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency against Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed and other LeT members are “superficial”.

“From December 2008 onwards, after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the Pakistan government was conducting investigations, interrogating people and pursuing people from the LeT which is why I wanted to know if Hafiz Sahab and Zaki Sahab were safe,” said Headley.

On the fifth day of his testimony via a video link from an undisclosed prison location in the US, Headley disclosed more details about the 26/11 conspiracy that he was part of.

He revealed that he visited the Indian Army Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI’s Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get “classified” information.

He also said that in March 2009 he had visited Pushkar, Goa and Pune and had recced the cities as sought by Ilyas Kashmiri of Al-Qaeda.

FILE: Mumbai: File Photo of the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008.  Photo - PTI

FILE: Mumbai: File Photo of the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008.
Photo – PTI

“Major Iqbal wanted me to try recruiting someone from the Army who would give us classified information. It was the same like the BARC (drill)…In all three cities, I took general videos of several
locations there,” Headley said.

The LeT operative turned approver also revealed details of e-mails between him and Sajid Mir where the latter assured Headley that LeT leaders were doing well and going about their business even though they were in prison.

In the last four days of his testimony Headley revealed explosive details about LeT and ISI operations and their nexus. On Thursday, Headley said that Mumbra girl Ishrat Jehan who was shot in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat cops in 2004, was an LeT suicide bomber. Headley also revealed that terror outfits like LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen were given moral, financial and military support by the ISI. He said he was working for the ISI and the LeT and that he knew that ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of LeT’s top commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi who was the mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks.

On Friday, the Indian government finally reacted to Headley’s deposition and urged Pakistan to “expose fully the conspiracy” behind the Mumbai terrorist attack.

“Headley’s testimony is in relation with the Mumbai terror attack and the testimony is self explanatory… it is up to Pakistan to investigate and expose fully the conspiracy in Pakistan behind the Mumbai terror attack and bring all concerned to justice….Headley’s deposition once again confirms this view, if any confirmation was needed after confession of Ajmal Kasab,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Friday.

(With inputs from PTI)