Pakistan Sacks Security Official That Said Government Tied to Mumbai

Pakistan’s government has sacked its top security adviser after he publicly acknowledged a connection between Pakistan and the Mumbai terror attacks in late November.


The office of Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani confirmed Wednesday that National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani had been fired, but gave no reason for his dismissal.

Pakistan's national security advisor Mehmood Ali Durrani ... 
Pakistan’s national security advisor Mehmood Ali Durrani attends a meeting in Islamabad in this picture taken December 2, 2008. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani dismissed his national security adviser Durrani on January 7, 2009, following weeks of tension with India in the aftermath of an attack by militants on Mumbai. Picture taken December 2, 2008.REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN)

Earlier in the day, Durrani said the sole surviving suspect in the Mumbai attacks — in which more than 160 people were killed — had ties to Pakistan.

“I think it probably would be true now that for example [Mohammed Ajmal Kasab] had Pakistani connections,” said Durrani. “So one cannot deny there was zero link with Pakistan. How much, who all was involved, that we have to investigate.”

Statements from Kasab, the sole surviving suspect, were among evidence that India submitted to Pakistan on Monday regarding the attacks.

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By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer

Pakistan fired its national security adviser amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, a possible sign of divisions in the weak civilian government over how to react to Indian and international demands it crack down on the alleged masterminds.

Mahmood Ali Durrani, a former ambassador to the U.S. and seen by critics as too friendly with Washington, was fired late Wednesday because “he gave media interviews on national security issues without consulting the prime minister,” said Imran Gardaizi, spokesman for Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The decision came hours after Indian media quoted Durrani as saying the surviving Mumbai attacker was Pakistani. Other top Pakistani officials separately confirmed Mohammed Ajmal Kasab’s nationality to media outlets the same day.

The government’s acknowledgment that Kasab is Pakistani — something India has long alleged — followed weeks of its saying there was no proof and he is not in its national identification databases.

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