Archive for the ‘LeT’ Category

Pakistan cracks down on Lashkar-e-Taiba Terrorists

January 17, 2009

Pakistan announced that it has arrested 71 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and detained 124 more in an effort to crack down on the Islamic militant group believed to be responsible for November’s attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai.

India’s foreign minister insisted that Pakistan must extradite the suspects for trial in India, backing down from his earlier statement that India might accept a trial in Pakistan.

The Associated Press reports that the arrests come as part of Pakistan’s investigation into the attacks, which left 164 people dead and heightened tensions between the neighboring nuclear powers. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947.

By Arthur Bright, Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan insisted it would help India to bring those behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, saying Thursday it had shut down extremist Web sites and suspected militant training camps, and detained 71 people in a deepening probe.

Still, a top Pakistani official said authorities needed to further investigate information about the attacks provided by archrival India before it could be used to prosecute suspects in court.

Days after the November attacks, the U.N. Security Council declared that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity in Pakistan, was merely a front for the outlawed militant organization.

Pakistan announced that Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and its “operations commander” Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were among those detained by Islamabad, according to English-language newspaper Dawn in Pakistan.

“We have arrested a total of 124 mid-level and top leaders of JuD in response to a UN resolution — 69 from Punjab, 21 from Sindh, eight from Balochistan and 25 from the NWFP — blocked ….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090117/w
l_csm/oduo116_1

Pakistan detains dozens allegedly linked to Mumbai

January 15, 2009

Pakistan has arrested 71 people in a crackdown on groups allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, officials said Thursday, while adding that the information India has handed over needs work before it can be used as evidence in court.

Still, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik dodged a question on whether he was conceding that the plot — which killed 164 people in India’s commercial capital and raised tension between the nuclear-armed rivals — was hatched on Pakistani soil.

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer

India says a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, masterminded the November attack. In the days afterward, the U.N. Security Council declared that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity in Pakistan, was merely a front for the outlawed militant organization.

On Thursday, the Interior Ministry said 71 leaders of the groups had been arrested since then — nearly a score more than previously announced. Another 124 have been placed under surveillance and must register their every move with police.

Ministry chief Rehman Malik initially said that 124 people had been detained. But his deputy, Kamal Shah, later told The Associated Press that Malik had misspoken.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090115/a
p_on_re_as/as_pakistan_india

Pakistan state not linked to Mumbai attack: Britain

January 13, 2009

Britain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that he believed the Pakistan state did not direct the Mumbai attacks, contradicting accusations from the Indian government that state agencies were involved.

“I have said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state and I think it’s important to restate that,” David Miliband told a news conference.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week the Mumbai attacks must have had support from some of Pakistan‘s official agencies. Islamabad has denied this, blaming the raid on “non-state actors.”

By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light ... 
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light moment with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in New Delhi on January 13. Miliband said on Tuesday the Pakistan state had not directed the attacks on Mumbai, but urged Islamabad to fulfill its promise to root out Islamic militant groups.(AFP/Prakash Singh)

India has provided Pakistan data from satellite phones used by the attackers and what it describes as the confession of a surviving gunman, part of a dossier of evidence.

Miliband’s statement highlighted differences between India and some Western allies. While India believes that agencies like Pakistan’s military spy agency were involved, diplomats have hinted there is not enough evidence to show this.

Miliband said it was clear the attacks originated from Pakistan, and Islamabad had to crack down on the militants operating on its soil, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which has been blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

“We are absolutely clear about the origin of the terrorist attack, and the responsibility that exists in Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Miliband said.

“What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the LeT organization and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LeT organization,” he added.

Related:
Pakistanis Are Armed, Dangerous

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009011
3/ts_nm/us_india_pakistan

Pakistan Sacks Security Official That Said Government Tied to Mumbai

January 7, 2009

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.

CNN

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.

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/0
1/07/pakistan.india.mumbai/index.html

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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.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090108/
ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_9

Pakistan: United Against The Wrong Enemy

January 1, 2009

IF PAKISTAN’S leaders had ever united against Islamist militancy as they have against India over the past three weeks, their country would not be the violent mess that it is. Ever since India alleged, with subsequent corroboration from America and Britain, that Pakistani terrorists carried out last month’s mass murder in Mumbai, the country’s politicians, generals and fire-breathing journalists have been declaring themselves ready for war—if that’s what India chooses.

India’s government, despite huge pressure from its own bellicose media, has been more restrained. It has said it does not intend to attack its neighbour. But it has demanded that Pakistan dismantle an anti-Indian militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), that has carried out numerous atrocities in India, apparently including the outrage on Mumbai. It has so far relied on diplomacy, particularly through America and Britain, to make this point.

The Economist (UK)

But India is frustrated. Pakistan has taken some steps against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), an Islamist charity that is a front for LET, which was formally banned by Pakistan, under American pressure, in 2002. But it is not clear at this stage how far they go. On December 11th, a day after the UN Security Council banned JUD, Pakistan said it had also banned it. It has since arrested the group’s leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, a professor of engineering, who founded LET and JUD in the 1980s. It has also arrested many JUD activists, sealed scores of the charity’s offices and stopped publication of at least six JUD newspapers.

Initially, it also said it would take over the group’s many hospitals and schools—allegedly including over 170 schools in Punjab province alone. But it has since seemed to backtrack on this. According to one minister, the government will set up a new charity to run these services. According to a senior official in Punjab, some of JUD’s facilities may be left in the same Islamist hands.

They may include a vast jihadist citadel that JUD operates in….

Related:
Pakistan’s Ugly, Dangerous Game

Read the rest:
http://www.economist.com/world/asia/disp
layStory.cfm?story_id=12818192&so
urce=most_commented

Pakistan in “denial” over Mumbai carnage: India

December 31, 2008

India on Wednesday said Pakistan was in “denial” over the Mumbai attacks and refusing to acknowledge evidence linking the gunmen who carried out the assault with elements in Pakistan.

“If anyone is in a state of denial, anything that we give will be denied,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters.

The minister said the Pakistani father of the sole surviving gunman had confirmed to Pakistan television that his son was involved.

“If that is not evidence then what is?” Chidambaram said.

AFP

The November attacks in Mumbai left 172 dead, including nine of the gunmen whom India insists were trained by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and abetted by unnamed Pakistani agencies.

Last week Pakistan’s acting High Commissioner Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi was summoned to the Indian foreign ministry and given a letter purportedly written by the sole surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman.

The letter said he was from Pakistan and that he wanted to meet Pakistan’s top envoy in New Delhi.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081231/wl_s
thasia_afp/indiaattackspakistandiplom
acy_081231114723

Pakistan’s Mumbai Probe Finds Pakistanis Heavily Involved

December 31, 2008

Pakistan’s own investigation of terror attacks in Mumbai has begun to show substantive links between the 10 gunmen and an Islamic militant group that its powerful spy agency spent years supporting, say people with knowledge of the probe.

At least one top leader of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, or “Army of the Pure,” captured in a raid earlier this month in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, has confessed the group’s involvement in the attack as India and the U.S. have alleged, according to a senior Pakistani security official.

By ZAHID HUSSAIN, MATTHEW ROSENBERG and PETER WONACOTT
The Wall Street Journal

FILE  INDIA OUT. CREDIT MANDATORY  ...
Above: Nov. 26: Azam Amir Kasab walks at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. AP

The disclosure could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks, which left 171 dead in India, originated within its borders and to prosecute or extradite the suspects. That raises difficult and potentially destabilizing issues for the country’s new civilian government, its military and the spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence — which is conducting interrogations of militants it once cultivated as partners.

A probe could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks originated within its borders.

Pakistani security officials say a top Lashkar commander, Zarar Shah, has admitted a role in the Mumbai attack during interrogation, according to the security official, who declined to be identified discussing the investigation. “He is singing,” the security official said of Mr. Shah. The admission, the official said, is backed up by U.S. intercepts of a phone call between Mr. Shah and one of the attackers at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the site of a 60-hour confrontation with Indian security forces.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1230
68308893944123.html

View From India: Pakistan Building War Hysteria

December 28, 2008

Are you as surprised as I am by the war hysteria that suddenly seems to have become the defining feature of India-Pakistan ties? In the aftermath of 26/11, many of us took pride in the maturity of the Indian reaction. Even though we knew quite quickly that the attacks were the work of terrorists based in Pakistan, Indians refused to give in to the knee-jerk response to retaliate.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

We had telephone intercepts that demonstrated that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba was behind the attacks. Phones recovered from the dead terrorists offered proof of regular calls to Pakistan. And Ajmal Kasab, the one terrorist to be captured alive, soon confessed to his Pakistani origins.

There were two ways we could have responded to this mountain of evidence. The first was to say that this proved that Pakistan was involved and to then launch surgical strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The second was to buy Asif Zardari’s claim that while the terrorists may have had Pakistani origins, they had no state sponsorship. In fact, said Zardari, the same terrorists were the ones who had killed his wife and launched attacks within Pakistan.

A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village ... 
A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village of Subhan Khaur.(AFP/File/Hashaam Ahmed)

I reckoned we had been reasonable in choosing the second path. We rejected the war option and, somewhat surprisingly, Indian public opinion did not demand a retaliatory strike.

Instead, most of us trusted Zardari, or at least gave him the benefit of doubt, believing that he was sincere when he talked about wanting peace with India and appreciating his offer not to launch a first nuclear strike made at the HT Summit.

Plus, we had faith in America. Many foreign policy experts told us that America was on our side; that Pakistan was so indebted to America that it could not afford to offend Washington; and that diplomatic pressure from the likes of Condoleezza Rice would ensure that Pakistan cracked down on the groups that had organised the Bombay attacks.

One month after those terrible incidents, two things have happened. The first is that Pakistan has gone back on its early willingness to help India get the perpetrators of the terror strikes. An offer to send the ISI chief to India was hurriedly withdrawn and the current position of the Zardari government appears to be that there is no evidence at all of any Pakistan involvement in the attacks. Even Ajmal Kasab, whose Pakistani origins have been unearthed by Pakistan’s own media is sought to be denied his rights as a Pakistani citizen. We do not know who he is, says Islamabad, and we don’t believe that he is a Pakistani.

 

The second development is that while we have congratulated ourselves on our restraint, Pakistan has built up the war hysteria on its own anyhow.

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6f396c7ae8&MatchID1=4874&TeamID1=1&TeamID2=3
&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1229&PrimaryID=4874&
Headline=Round+One+to+Pakistan

What war with Pakistan could mean for India

December 27, 2008

Pakistan is financially bankrupt and living amid the turmoil of sectarian strife.  Yet Islamabad commands a strong military that includes nuclear weapons.

India also has a strong nuclear-capable military and, as the issue of Mumbai’s terror attacks has again proven, the hatreds between these two South Asian neighbors run deep…..

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India and Pakistan have ratcheted up their rhetoric over last month’s Mumbai attacks, but analysts say a fourth war between the two nuclear-armed rivals remains unlikely.

Tensions are nonetheless running high after India warned its nationals Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan and Islambad canceled all army leave, leaving Washington to urge both sides not to increase tensions further.

 

Another attack on India launched by Pakistan-based militants, however, could see New Delhi act decisively.

 

Here is a look at some possible scenarios for India in event of war:

 

POLITICAL

 

– The Indian government faced widespread voter anger at the security and intelligence failures that led to the Mumbai attacks and must go to the polls by May. A strong response could see people rally behind it.

 

The opposition BJP has made militant attacks a major campaign issue ahead of the general elections and has already indicated it would back the government if it chose to go to war. However, the BJP has also been criticized in some quarters for being opportunistic in making terrorism an election issue.

 

India signed a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation deal with the United States earlier this year and might hope its growing political ties with Washington would get a further boost if it hit militant targets inside Pakistan with missiles and fighter jets.

(from Reuters)

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/news
One/idUSTRE4BQ0Q320081227

Indians Warned To Stay Clear of Pakistan; PM Meets Military Chiefs

December 26, 2008

India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan as tension continues in the wake of last month’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

India’s foreign ministry said travel was “unsafe” after reports Indians had been detained following recent bomb attacks in Pakistani cities.

Pakistani officials say the tension has meant scaling down military operations against militants and redeploying east.

The attacks on several targets in Mumbai left more than 170 people dead.

BBC

India blames militant groups based in Pakistan for the attacks. They and Pakistan’s government deny any involvement.

Redeployment

The Indian foreign ministry statement follows recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

One woman was killed and four people injured on Wednesday in Lahore.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7800329.stm

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From Reuters

India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan after the prime minister met military chiefs, and Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors after last month’s attack on Mumbai, in which 179 people were killed and which India has blamed on Islamist militants based in Pakistan.

 

It followed media reports in Pakistan and India that “several” Indian nationals had been arrested in the last two days after bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

 

“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel (to) or be in Pakistan,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

 

Another Foreign Ministry official contacted by Reuters said the warning referred to all travel to Pakistan.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office earlier said Singh had discussed tension with Pakistan during a scheduled meeting about military pay with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.

 

“The prime minister met the tri-services chiefs to discuss the pay commission issues but obviously the situation in the region was also discussed,” said an official from Singh’s office, who asked not to be identified. There were no other details.

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/world
News/idUSTRE4BP16V20081226