Now Pak says Mir is a cleric


Sajid Mir

The hunt for the mysterious Sajid Mir will only get tougher for India as Pakistan continues to remain in denial about the existence of this man. Do not expect Pakistan or its dreaded ISI to tell us the truth about this man, is what the member of every agency said when contacted for information regarding Mir.

We all know what Mir is capable of and his skills were out on display during the 26/11 attack when he spoke to the terrorists who had gone about mercilessely killing people. India has been making consistent efforts to get information regarding Mir and his whereabouts. The latest bit of information that has poured in regarding Mir from Pakistan is strange. They go on to say that the only Mir that they know is a religious leader who operates out of Pakistan. He is a cleric and has never been associated with the army or any other major establishment in Pakistan is what the Pakistan authorities have had to say about him.

India did make a last ditch attempt to interrogate Saeed Hafiz and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi but were refused access recently. Although expected the response from Pakistan was quite disappointing the Indian agencies say. The entire case of 26/11 is pretty clear, but there are two factors which continue to haunt the Indian agencies and unless this is clear there is no way in which one could say that the investigations are complete. The role of Hafiz Saeed in this attack is crystal clear. It is public knowledge that he is the top man in the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and his affiliations with the Pakistan establishment are all very clear.

However through Saeed India was looking to get more information on Mir since at the moment is more important than any other person involved in this plot. India was looking to interrogate Saeed in order to get a clear picture on Mir, his antecedents and also his whereabouts. However that will not be a reality now as Pakistan has flatly refused access to this man.

India’s tryst to get its hands on Mir commenced four days after the 26/11 attack. Although the voice samples of this man took a while to ascertain, it was based on intercepts and other sources of intelligence that the name of Mir came out in the open.

Six months after the attack there was immense pressure on Pakistan to make arrests in connection with this attack and at that point of time they had claimed that Mir too had been taken into custody. However an expose later revealed that they had taken in some ordinary man in order to show to the world that they were doing their job. Later it was announced that they had got the wrong man.

The IB says that this is one big bluff on part of Pakistan. Today they say that Mir is just an ordinary cleric in Pakistan who has no affiliations with the Pakistan army as is being reported in the media world wide. If this is what they have to say now then why was an arrest made and the world told that the man who was picked up was Mir. This just adds to the confusion and it becomes clear that they are trying their best to hide the identity of this man.

India has made various attempts to get some clarity regarding this man. However as was reported earlier the confusion regarding his name still remains. In some circles he is known as Sajid Mir and in some as Sajid Majid. On the other hand the US media says that he was part of the Pakistan army and continues to be well connected with the establishment. However these facts too are not adding up since there is still confusion regarding his age. India maintains that he joined the Lashkar when he was 16 years old. However it is unclear how he made the transition into the Pakistan army as an officer after that. The interpol notice on him says he is 32 years old but Headley whose handler was Mir says he is 34 years old. The big question is that whether someone so young could have been handed over such a huge responsibility right from the age of 16. It somehow does not add up and there is a great deal that Pakistan continues to conceal.

India says that Mir is a global operative and has been wanted in several cases across the globe. His conviction in absentia by a French court a few years back is a testimony to India’s claims. The intelligence bureau also says that he was once arrested in Dubai along with a few others. He was allegedly plotting a major terror attack, but he was released mysteriously without proper interrogation or investigation. It is suspected that his close links with the ISI helped him wriggle out this situation.

India will now have to find an alternative to find out more on Mir. The door leading up to Saeed or Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi are shut now. The interrogation of Headley too did not give much on Mir. The NIA feels that Headley too did not know much about this man and hence the responses on him were extremely contradictory in nature. There is a need to coordinate with the French who have tried this man and also seek access to Tawahur Rana who also was in the know of Mir.

While these efforts would clear up the 26/11 mystery to a large extent, it would also give India more information about what is in store. It is a known fact that the videos shot by Headley fell into the hands of Mir and this is worrisome since Mir is very capable of acting upon it which can prove fatal to the security of India.

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