Pakistan’s former top security officer Mahmud Ali Durrani today said the 26/11 Mumbai strike was a “classic example” of cross-border terrorism, carried out by a Pak-based group and hoped that its chief Hafiz Saeed is punished.
However, Durrani, a former national security advisor of Pakistan, maintained that the government had no role in the terror strikes that claimed lives of 166 people.
“26/11 Mumbai strikes, carried out by a terror group based in Pakistan, was a classic trans-border terrorist event,” he said while addressing a conference on combating terrorism at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis here.
Later talking to reporters, he said, “I know (this) for definite. I have very good information that the Government of Pakistan or the ISI (Pakistan’s spy agency) was not involved in 26/11 (terror attack). I am 110 per cent sure.”
Asked to elaborate, Durrani declined to divulge details, saying he was sacked by the Pakistani government for certain statements he made regarding the Mumbai attack. “I made a statement which the government did not like and I got sacked,” he said.
In response to a question on JuD chief Saeed’s usefulness to Pakistan, Durrani said he has “no utility” for the country and that the Mumbai attack mastermind should be “punished”.
Durrani, who had served as a Major General in the Pakistani army, was sacked in 2009 for having indicated that Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist arrested for the Mumbai terror attack, may have been a Pakistani. Kasab was hanged by India.
India has been maintaining that Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes and has been demanding action against Saeed. However, Pakistan has been maintaining that it demands more evidence to bring Saeed to book.
Durrani also sought to debunk India’s assertion that it carried out surgical strikes on terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC), saying he did not see evidence of any such attack by the Indian forces.
However, he advocated cordial relations between New Delhi and Islamabad and said Pakistan cannot progress if there is no friendship with India.