The status and whereabouts of at least five main Pakistani suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks remain a mystery,with an anti-terrorism judge remanding only one accused to the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency.
Anti-terrorism court Judge Sakhi Muhammad Kahut on Monday remanded Hamad Amin Sadiq,a Lashker-e-Toiba activist described by Pakistani authorities as the main operator behind the Mumbai incident,to the custody of the FIA for 15 days. There was no official word on the status and whereabouts of five other suspects,who the interior ministry chief Rehman Malik had said were in custody of authorities.
Though Malik had not named these suspects during a news conference last week,sources said they included senior LeT operatives Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah,who have reportedly been named in the Indian dossier submitted to Islamabad.
Sadiq was remanded to the FIAs custody by Judge Kahut during proceedings held in a makeshift court set up in the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. The FIA filed charges against Sadiq under the Anti-Terrorism Act,Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance.
FIA Inspector Zahid Akhtar and special public prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar told the judge that authorities wanted information about Sadiqs accomplices involved in the Mumbai incident. The officials told the judge that Sadiq was an active member of the LeT and was accused of facilitating and abetting the Mumbai attacks.
Official documents presented in court said Sadiq,who hails from Rahim Yar Khan in southern Punjab province,was arrested in Faizabad area of Rawalpindi on Sunday. However,interior ministry chief Malik had said Sadiq was arrested much earlier in Karachi.
Media reports on Saturday said a court had remanded six suspects to FIA custody. Judge Kahut took exception to these reports and said his court could issue a legal notice.
Diplomatic sources said authorities were being vague about the status of the suspects due to security concerns and the ongoing probe into the Mumbai attacks.