Archive for the ‘ISI’ Category

India, Pakistan Share Mumbai Intelligence; Biden Visits

January 9, 2009

Pakistan said Friday that it has sent “feedback” and information to India about the Mumbai attacks, and Joe Biden came here to underscore how seriously the incoming U.S. administration takes the terror threat from South Asia.

New Delhi recently said it gave Islamabad a dossier of evidence linking the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan, but it was unclear if Pakistan’s feedback related directly to that dossier.

By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer

Gilani told reporters that the CIA had played an intermediary role and that Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, had reviewed the information from India. He gave few other details.

“They have given some 52 pages of information to the CIA and in return our ISI has given feedback and information, that has been passed on to India,” Gilani said. “The American CIA and Pakistani ISI have an old working relationship in the past. If any information is required we are ready to cooperate.”

India says Pakistani militants were behind the November attacks that killed 164 people in its financial hub. It specifically blames the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is believed to have links to the Pakistani intelligence agency. Pakistan acknowledged this week that of the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai attacks, the one survivor is a Pakistani citizen. It denies any of its state agencies were involved.

President-elect Barack Obama‘s incoming administration plans to increase the focus on the battle against al-Qaida and Taliban militants operating along the Pakistan-Afghan border. American officials worry that a conflict with India could distract Pakistan from eliminating militant sanctuaries along the Afghan frontier, and have urged India and Pakistan to cooperate.

Vice President-elect Biden was the latest in a string of envoys to visit Pakistan….

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U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden assured Pakistani president Zardari Friday that the incoming Obama administration will continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen democracy and combat terrorism, according to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Biden told Zardari the new U.S. administration would also help Pakistan “meet its socio-economic requirements and capacity building,” the ministry said in a written statement.

The vice president-elect “assured the Pakistani leadership” of the United States’ “continued assistance to Pakistan,” the statement said.

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India To Pakistan: “Military Option Still On The Table”

December 20, 2008

India on Saturday sent a warning to Pakistan that it should not presume the likelihood of military retaliation was fading with time.

Pakistani paramilitary troops undertake a search operation in ...

“If a country cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist to protect our interests and our people from this menace (of terrorism),” said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in a clear reference to Pakistan’s promise to ensure there would be no terrorist attacks against India from its soil.

Hindustan Times

The minister’s statement, read out by Sikkim University Vice-Chancellor Mahendra Lama at the inauguration of a conference in Gangtok, seems to be part of an overall drive by New Delhi to infuse credibility to India’s warnings to Pakistan after the Mumbai attack.

Mukherjee’s statement says, “The recent attacks in Mumbai only reflect the extent to which terrorists have spread their network. The repeated appeals that we have made to our neighbours, over the years, to ensure that they do not provide any support to terrorist activities and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, has been ignored, despite assurances given by them.”

Without mentioning Pakistan or its military’s Inter-Services Intelligence directly, the minister added that Mumbai was “the latest instance of how subregionalism, regionalism and multilateralism are directly threatened by non-state actors with the aid of para-state apparatus.”

India’s recent decision to deploy additional MiG fighters around the capital and establish no-fly zones around nuclear reactor sites is being seen by some as a silent warning to Pakistan.

File photo shows Indian fighter jets taking part in a mock exercise ... 
Indian fighter jets taking part in a mock exercise at the Indian Air Force Station in Gwalior. Pakistan accused India’s air force of violating its airspace, drawing a swift denial from New Delhi.(AFP/File/Manan Vatsyayana)

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington the steps taken so far by Islamabad post-Mumbai were “not nearly enough” and advised Pakistan to keep working to “really deal” with terrorism to help ease the present crisis. The message to the Pakistani government, she said, had to be “you need to deal with the terrorist problem. And it’s not enough to say these are non-state actors. If they’re operating from Pakistani territory, then they have to be dealt with.”

However, Richard Barrett, coordinator of the United Nations Security Council’s al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Committee, expressed satisfaction with the cooperation he was receiving from Islamabad in implementing UN sanctions against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

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Indian PM wants normalized relations with Pakistan

December 14, 2008

India’s prime minister said Sunday he wants “normalized” relations with Pakistan amid rising tensions between the South Asian rivals following the Mumbai attacks that left more than 160 people dead.

Addressing an election rally in Indian Kashmir — a focal point of much of the tension between India and Pakistan — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hopes relations between the neighbors can be “normalized,” but this cannot happen until “our neighbor stops allowing its territory to be used for acts of terrorism against India.”

Singh traveled to Khundru town in Kashmir after a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in New Delhi. The two leaders discussed the attacks on Mumbai, which have been blamed on a Pakistani-based Kashmiri militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India has called on Pakistan to crack down on militant groups operating out of Pakistan.

By AIJAZ HUSSAIN, Associated Press Writer

Pakistan has carried out raids on a charity believed to be linked to Lashkar, but also urged India to provide further evidence.

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

India finds itself in the awkward position of having to investigate terrorist attacks hand-in-hand with its longtime nemesis. The two countries have fought three wars against each other since independence. Despite a peace process that began in 2004, tensions remain high.

Thousands of soldiers used barbed wire and metal barricades to seal off all approach roads to Khundru ahead of Singh’s visit.

The prime minister addressed the rally ahead of the sixth of seven rounds of voting in state elections. The elections for Kashmir’s state legislature started Nov. 17 and end Dec. 24. Voters cast their ballots in the fifth phase on Saturday as scattered clashes between protesters and government forces left one person dead.

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India Unveils Security Overhaul After Mumbai Siege

December 11, 2008

NEW DELHI  —  India announced a massive overhaul of its security and intelligence agencies Thursday in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks that left 171 dead and provoked a public outcry over the government’s response.

Among the new measures, the government will seek to create an FBI-style national investigative agency, beef up coastal security, better train local police, strengthen anti-terror laws and increase intelligence sharing, said Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, the country’s top law enforcement official.

“Given the nature of the threat, we can’t go back to business as usual,” Chidambaram said in a speech to India’s Parliament, adding he would “take certain hard decisions to prepare the country and people to face the challenge of terrorism.”

The revamp represents the government’s first detailed response to widespread public anger over security and intelligence failures in the attacks. Chidambaram has previously apologized for government “lapses” in the assault.

Also Thursday, India formally responded to recent raids and arrests in Pakistan as the foreign minister urged Islamabad to go further by dismantling terrorist operations and camps believed rooted in the country.

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Chairman JCS: Pakistan Has Taken “Great Steps” Since Mumbai and Against Terrorists

December 10, 2008

The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday he likes what he sees so far in Pakistan’s response to last month’s terror attacks in India, including the arrests of key militants, but said time will tell if Pakistan’s crackdown is for real. “We measure by deeds,” Adm. Mike Mullen said.

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, ... 
Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, speaks to the media during a news briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. Mullen said both India and Pakistan have shown admirable restraint following the deadly attack on the financial center of Mumbai, and that Pakistan has taken good first steps by arresting key militants who may have had a hand in planning the attack.(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Mullen visited Pakistan and India last week, tag-teaming the pressure on Pakistan’s shaky civilian government with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Describing his meetings to reporters, Mullen said he was impressed by the stated commitment of Pakistani leaders.

“I sense a real appreciation for both the seriousness of the attacks and the growing threats of terrorism inside their own borders,” Mullen said at the Pentagon.

He praised raids on militant facilities that followed his visit, and gave Pakistan’s influential military chief an unusually strong endorsement.

The media-shy Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is sometimes described as Pakistan’s shadow ruler. Mullen noted the two have met frequently in the past several months, although he did not mention the context for some of their discussions — the rise in U.S.-Pakistan tensions over U.S. terror-hunting raids on Pakistani soil.

“In my interactions with him, we’ve usually discussed how to move forward. And what he’s told me he would do he has done,” Mullen said. “This is another example of that.”

Mullen said he is encouraged that Pakistan seems to have arrested “some of the right people, significant players” in the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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Why India Is Still Skeptical of Pakistan’s Anti-Terror Efforts

December 8, 2008

The raid by Pakistan’s security forces on a camp used by the militants blamed for the Mumbai massacre is not the first time Islambad has moved against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). But a previous crackdown that came, like this one, under strong pressure from Washington after a LeT terror strike in India, did little to stop the militant group from operating in Pakistan. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed over the weekend that the U.S. believes the attack on Mumbai was planned from Pakistani soil, and LeT has been named by U.S. and Indian officials as the prime suspect. Indian officials have also made clear that they believe elements of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), longtime sponsor of the LeT, were involved in the Mumbai attack. So, from India’s perspective, Pakistan’s 2002 crackdown on LeT has not stopped terror attacks from Pakistani soil. And India will likely remain skeptical about Pakistan’s bona fides over anti-Indian militants operating on its turf until it is satisfied that such groups have been properly accounted for, dismantled and destroyed.

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Terrorists: Pakistan Nabs, Jails LeT Militants Named By India in Mumbai

December 8, 2008

Under intense pressure from India and the U.S., Pakistan raided a suspected terrorist outpost in the tribal areas on Sunday, capturing suspects in the Mumbai, India assault.


Pakistani security forces raided a camp used by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for last month’s attack on Mumbai, and arrested several of the group’s members, including a man accused of masterminding the atatcks on India’s financial capital.

By Isambard Wilkinson in Lahore
The Telegraph (UK)

Among those arrested was Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, an LeT activist whom Indian officials have accused of planning the Mumbai attack, according to an official from Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the political wing of LeT.

Pakistani intelligence officers said six men have been arrested, but gave no names, and there has been no official confirmation of the raid.

Indian activists from the right-wing Hindu organisation, Shiv ... 
Indian activists from the right-wing Hindu organisation, Shiv Sena, burn a Pakistani flag during a protest in Amritsar. Similar scenes appeared in Pakistan where the U.S. and Indian flags were burned.  Pakistan has arrested three people linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group India accuses of being involved in the Mumbai attacks as the US ramps up pressure on Islamabad to tackle militants.(AFP/Narinder Nanu)

Mr Lakhvi, one of LeT’s operations chiefs, was named as a ringleader in the Mumbai plot by the lone surviving gunman captured in India, according to Indian officials.

He and Yusuf Muzammil, the head of Lashkar’s anti-India operations, gave orders by telephone to the 10 militants who killed at least 171 people in the attack on Mumbai, Indian officials said.

Locals said the operation began in the afternoon in Shawai on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.


The operation was mounted after Pakistan came under intense US and Indian pressure to act against jihadi groups.

Mumbai terrorist came from Pakistan, local villagers confirm

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One of the suspected planners of last month’s attack by gunmen on Mumbai was arrested by Pakistani security forces in a raid on a militant camp, an official with a charity linked to the militant group said on Monday.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was taken into custody following Sunday’s raid on a camp used by Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir.

By Abu Arkam Naqash, Reuters

Pakistan bombing AP

“Yes, Lakhvi is among four or five people arrested in a raid yesterday,” said the official, whose JuD charity is regarded as front for the feared militant group.

Pakistani intelligence officers said six men have been arrested, but gave no names, and there has been no official confirmation of the raid.

Lakhvi, one of Lashkar’s operations chiefs, was named as a ringleader in the Mumbai plot by the lone surviving gunman captured in India, according to Indian officials.

He and Yusuf Muzammil, the head of Lashkar’s anti-India operations, gave orders by telephone to the 10 militants who killed at least 171 people in the attack on Mumbai, Indian officials say.

Pakistan has asked for proof that attackers came from Pakistan, while saying it will cooperate with India in the investigation, but tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals have risen.

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An Indian soldier stands guard outside the Taj Mahal hotel after ... 
An Indian soldier stands guard outside the Taj Mahal in Mumbai.(AFP/Pedro Ugarte)

Pakistan Must Face Up to Terrorists — Editorial

December 6, 2008

Pakistan’s government has fiercely denied any role in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai that killed more than 160 people. We hope that is true. But there are strong signs that the terrorists were members of the Pakistani-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba, a former proxy of Islamabad’s powerful intelligence service that — despite being officially banned — continues to operate in plain sight in Pakistan.

New York Times Editorial
Any act of terrorism is horrifying, but the potential aftermath of this one is even more so.

India and Pakistan have already fought three wars. Both are nuclear armed. It is not hard to imagine that the attackers’ real goal was to disrupt recent efforts to improve relations — and provoke an even greater cataclysm. Everything must be done to avoid that.

Members of the Gujarat People Oscillation Committee (GPOC) burn ... 
Members of the Gujarat People Oscillation Committee (GPOC) burn Pakistan’s national flag during a protest against Mumbai’s recent attacks, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad December 6, 2008. Police said on Saturday that they had arrested two men who helped the Mumbai attackers get mobile phone cards they used to stay in touch during the three-day rampage.REUTERS/Amit Dave (INDIA)

India has so far shown extraordinary restraint. It will have to continue to do so as the investigation moves forward. Pakistan, which has bounced between sympathy and bluster, must provide full cooperation — no matter where the investigation leads.

Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, must face up to his country’s involvement — whether official or nearly so. We know his new civilian government is weak, and he may not be able to accede to New Delhi’s demands that all suspects be turned over to India for prosecution.

This television frame grab shows Pakistani President Asif Ali ... 
President Zardari of Pakistan (AFP)

At a minimum, his government must be ready to arrest and try anyone involved in the attacks, and mete out long jail terms if they are convicted. Islamabad must finally shut down all the Lashkar training camps and recruitment activity.

We also are waiting for a forceful public repudiation of the militant groups ….

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