As external affairs minister, S M Krishna embarks upon a visit to Pakistan, the talk would again be about terrorism and of course the gory and horrific 26/11 attack. Every time our diplomats say before they land in Pakistan that they have got clinching evidence of the role played by Pakistan in the 26/11 attack and the retort each time has been give us more proof.
It is obvious that Pakistan does not believe or chooses not to believe what India is telling them. There has been the confession statement of Kasab and he has even convicted by the highest court of the Indian land. Then came our very own investigations and now we have in our custody a very crucial operative known as Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal.
India is hoping that it would make a push with the confessional statement of Jundal which will come up for discussion. Although Pakistan is likely to reject it, the trump card up India’s hand this time around would be the similarities between the statements made by Jundal and an equally important operative, David Headley. Experts say that Pakistan may argue that Jundal’s statement is not acceptable as it was made on Indian soil, but the fact that it matches what Headley has said before the FBI and the court in the United States of America is something that would give Pakistan something to think about.
When Jundal was apprehended the first thing that the Indians did was try to match up the voice samples. Today it has been ascertained beyond doubt that one of the voices that guided the 26/11 attackers was that of Jundal’s. With the cooperation of foreign agencies India has also managed to sample the voice and also ascertain that the calls were being made from the Malir area in Karachi Pakistan which is close to the International airport. Pakistan would find this tough to deny and would have to explain how such a major operation considered to be a war against another nation was monitored right from the heart of the city.
The voice sample that Indian agencies have managed to ascertain and would be a talking point at Pakistan would be that of Jundal’s. This is the specific portion which helped India ascertain this aspect to the 26/11 probe.
Jundal- Kill them
Terrorist: It is all quiet by the wish of Allah
Jundal- Just shoot. If there is firing then you will not know the direction. Just do it now. Make those people sit up and shoot them on their head from the back. Do it in the name of Allah.
Terrorist- I killed two. Today is Friday and it will be the final fight.
Jundal- Shoot them all just do it.
Terrorist- Firing has started.
Jundal- take cover now. Are you hit?
Terrorist- Yes, on my side and leg
Jundal- Allah will protect you.
Handler: May Allah protect you
While this is one part of the proof which has been ascertained regarding Jundal, the more important aspect would be the comparison that has been drawn Jundal’s and Headley’s statements.
Pakistan may try and get away by saying that the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi are not state players and there is a valid trial that is going on against them. However they have been in denial regarding the state players who are involved in the plot.
When Headley had confessed to his crime, he had said that there were three persons, two majors and a colonel who were part of this attack. Jundal too names the same three pesons- Major Samir Ali, Major Iqbal and Colonel Shah. Both have been able to confirm that these were officers (serving) in the ISI and the army and all through the operation they had been part.
Jundal says that it was Major Iqbal who provided Rs 20 lakh for the boat. On the other hand Headley had confessed that it was the same Major with whom he interacted and it was through him that the money for the survey of the targets was passed on to him through Sajid Mir.
Sources in the NIA who have been studying the statements of both Headley and Jundal say that there is nothing very different in what each one had to say. Although both had different roles to play, their handlers were the same. Headley being an important player was handled by those in the establishment. It was important that such high profile personalities handled him since through their influence they could have got him out of a difficulty had he faced any. On the other hand, Jundal too met with the same officers who were present in the control room at the time of the operation. While the big bosses of the Lashkar took charge of all the command operations, the finer aspects such as a survey, control room and also arranging for a landing point for the attack was all done under the nose of these officials. Both Jundal and Headley say the same thing- “ every detail had to be run by the officials who were part of the army and the ISI. It was only them apart from the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi who knew each and everything about the attack while the rest worked on a need to know basis.” Further both had also said that none of them was able to even take a step without consulting these officers. Headley said that he interacted through phone and mail while Jundal met them face to face. Headley says that these officers were present at the control room and were supervising the attack while Jundal too confirms the same and also adds that after the attack was complete it was these officers who told them to destroy the control room.