Mumbai attackers can’t just be non-state actors: India

Categorically rejecting the Pakistani theory that the people behind last November’s Mumbai attacks were ‘non-state actors’...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 4, 2009 1:43 am

Categorically rejecting the Pakistani theory that the people behind last November’s Mumbai attacks were ‘non-state actors’,India today said the sophistication and enormity of the operation made it very clear that it could not have been carried out without the assistance of ‘state actors’ in Pakistan.

In an interview with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta for NDTV’s Walk the Talk,Home Minister P Chidambaram also said that Pakistan will have to give ‘cast iron guarantees’ that such an incident will never be repeated,otherwise it will have to pay a heavy price for it.

“Somebody who is familiar with intelligence and who is familiar with commando operation has directed this operation (in Mumbai). And that cannot entirely be a non-state actor,” Chidambaram said.

“In fact,I presume they are state actors or state-assisted actors unless the contrary is proved. It was too enormous a crime and required very elaborate planning,communication networks,financial backing. It was a very,very sophisticated operation,” he said.

Chidambaram said the evidence against Pakistan was “overwhelming” and “unanswerable”.

“It is a detailed dossier,supported by electronic evidence like transcripts and intercepts and interrogation reports… The evidence leads to the conclusion that the plot was hatched in Pakistan and as the operation in Mumbai was on,it was masterminded and controlled from Pakistan. When I say Pakistan,I mean Pakistani territory,” he said,adding that Pakistan too was aware of the kind of evidence that New Delhi has and that’s why its denials were getting weaker and more hollow.

He said he would share some of this evidence with the authorities in the United States when he visits the country sometime next week. The US is helping India in investigating the Mumbai terror attacks.

Mincing no words,the Home Minister said it would now be upon Pakistan to ensure that such acts are never repeated by its citizens against India. “The price they will pay if this is repeated will be enormous,” he warned.

On Islamabad’s stubborn refusal to accept that Ajmal Amir Kasab,the only attacker captured alive by Mumbai Police,was a Pakistani citizen,Chidambaram said there was a simple way to establish the truth. “Today we have Ajmal Amir Kasab in our custody. His DNA is available. There is a person in Pakistan who has accepted that he is the father of Kasab. His DNA is available. Now if someone matches the two,it would be clear who is right and who is wrong,” he said.

Asked whether India was getting full cooperation from the United States,which considers Pakistan its ally on the war against terror,Chidambaram replied in the affirmative.

“So far they have been fully cooperative and therefore we have cooperated with their request to participate in the investigations. They have certain equipments that we do not have and therefore we have requested them to help us and that help has been given,” he said.

Chidambaram also rejected Islamabad’s offer of a joint Indo-Pak investigation into the Mumbai attacks,saying it was meaningless. “It can be relevant only if Pakistan admits that Kasab is a Pakistani. Otherwise,why do you (Pakistan) want to jointly investigate a crime in which your citizens had no connection?” he asked.

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