Islamabad:After a spate of flip-flops, Pakistan on Thursday finally admitted “some part of the conspiracy” behind the Mumbai terror attacks was planned in the country and six people have been arrested in this connection.
Pakistan’s response to India’s dossier on the 26 November Mumbai strikes was handed over to India’s high commissioner Satyabrata Pal with a list of 30 questions.
Islamabad also sought further information about Mumbai attackers including their finger prints and DNA samples.
“Some part of the conspiracy related to the Mumbai attacks was planned in Pakistan,” interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said, an admission that comes after a series of conflicting statements from the Pakistani leadership.
Malik said nine people have been named in an FIR (first information report) registered today in connection with the Mumbai attacks and six of them have already been arrested. He said a criminal case had been opened in Pakistan against the suspects on charges of “abetting, conspiracy and facilitation” of a terrorist act.
Malik said Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind, was in custody.
Malik, who met Pal earlier in the day, said some of those involved in Mumbai attacks were LeT operatives and the arrests were based on the preliminary investigations.
Pakistan has been under intense international pressure mobilized by India to crack down on the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its frontal outfit Jamaat-Ud Dawah, which have been blamed for the Mumbai carnage that left 183 people dead.
“Actual investigation will start now as probe starts only after filing of FIR,” he said.
“We have located those locations which were used by the terrorists before launching themselves,” Malik said, adding they had sailed from Karachi to India.
Investigators had also discovered that some funds transferred from Italy and Spain were used to finance the attack. Even Austrian telephone SIM cards were used by the perpetrators and a link to Houston in the US was established.
Hamad Ameen Sadiq, who facilitated money transfer for the attacks, was arrested along with another Pakistani national Javed Iqbal, who acquired the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connections from Spain, Malik told a press conference.
On Ajmal Amir Kasab, Malik said his statement has to be recorded in a Pakistani court, suggesting Islamabad would like to seek the custody of 22-year-old Kasab, the lone surviving attacker nabbed during Mumbai attacks.
Malik said the investigators had traced the shop from where the engine for the boat used by the attackers was purchased and arrested the owner of the shop.
Tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan since the attack by 10 gunmen on India’s financial capital last November, though fears of a conflict between the nuclear armed neighbours has receded in recent weeks.