New Delhi: Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday blamed Indian security agencies for their "failure" to prevent the Mumbai terror attack and alleged that Indian non-state actors were involved in the massacre. Malik also said had there been interaction between Pakistan and India and regular sharing of information, the 26/11 attack could have been prevented.
He said Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley had conspired with al Qaeda terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, a retired major of Pakistan Army and three Indian terrorists - Abu Jundal, Jabbiullah and Fahim Ansari - and roamed freely and plotted India's worst terror attack. "So it is not a state-sponsored drama, state-sponsored action. It is action by non-state actors. Triangular nexus between Headley, (Ilyas) Kashmiri, the enemy of Pakistan, a Major who deserted the Pakistan Army, having joined LeT and of course three Indians," he said delivering a lecture at Observer Research Foundation.
Malik said during investigation, it has come to be known that they carried out recce of the targets and shot films uninterrupted and without notice of law enforcement agencies. "If you put things together, there are three guys, one coming from the US, and he has that money, he has got credit cards, he has moved all over, he had created franchise, he had created a social circle. All these should have come to the attention of some agencies.
"Now the agencies failed. Both here and Pakistan. So, we have failed. Why? Because, there was no interaction between Pakistan and India," he said. The Pakistani leader advised Indians not to hide matters of terror and investigation else things would may go out of hands.
"Of course, I have to tell the truth to your country, to your people so that we find a way forward. If you hide things, the things will continue to move same way and a time will come when you will not be able to handle and control," he said. Referring to LeT terrorist Abu Jundal, who was present in LeT control room during 26/11 attack and was deported from Saudi Arabia recently, Malik said Jundal had confessed that he was a known criminal, having been charged in many cases.
"He also worked as one of the sources of a very elite agency of India. Now, see, he has used agencies also and went rogue. Put it another way, you become a source, you become a double agent. While he is working, living in India, he light have gone rogue and then these three individuals go to Pakistan," he said.
On Kashmiri, Malik said, he was a close aide of slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and was part of the conspiracy to kill former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto. "Headley talked about a Major. I particular investigated that matter. We found the link. How it is happening. We
arrested one Major Farooq. He is an ex-Army man and used to work for LeT. We arrested him and that guy gave us lot of information.
"So, what I am emphasising, if we had interaction at intelligence level, at ministerial level at the government level, at diplomatic level, then we would have opportunity to share our information. May be, had we interacted (before 26/11), we would have found out Abu Jundal and Headley," he said. Malik refuted the allegations that Hindus were being persecuted in Pakistan saying every Pakistani citizen enjoys equal rights in that country.
He also complimented the Indian government for arresting a key accused in Samjhauta Express blast saying it a "good omen". "It is a good omen. I welcome it. I congratulate the Government of India that the main culprit of Samjhauta Express was arrested. I am sure this will help in identifying the whole network and it is going to be beneficial for the whole country," he said.