Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Headley pointing at ISI's involvement in 26/11 a teaser for Indian experts

Only a foolish ISI would do such a thing, says former RA&W chief

New Delhi: Can David Headley's judicial deposition in an American court that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack make India turn around and say, “We've told you so'? Yes, that is indeed the case, but it is only useful as a propaganda point, says security expert Ajai Sahni. “But wars are not won through evidence. It has to be fought on the ground the hard way,” he says.

Aksed whether this clearly established Pakistan government's complicity in the terror attack, Sahni says, “It is way beyond complicity.”

Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Ajit Doval says that Headley's deposition adds gives tractioon and weight to what India has been saying all along.

Former national security adviser in the Vajpayee government Brajesh Mishra says, “There was never any doubt that ISI was the brain behind the Mumbai attack. But it is too early to draw inferences from Headley's deposition in a US court.” Mishra also says that Headley knows that he is going end up in prison for the rest of his life and therefore his evidence carries enough wait. But he thinks that Headley's associate Tahawwur Rana's evidence will be important, and that it has to be seen whether he will collaborate what Headley has said.

Former Research and Analysis Wing (RA&W), India's external intelligence agency, is not so sanguine about Headley ratting against the ISI. Tharakan argues that it is quite palusible that the ISI would have used Hedaley in India for gathering military intelligence, and that it did not know about Headley's involvement with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Tharakan argues that no ISI chief would be so foolish to engineer a terror attack in India which involved the lives of so many Americans. Though he does not rule out the bizarre possibility, he feels that only a 'bizarre' ISI would indulge in such an action. So he thinks that there is need to study the Hedaley evidence much more carefully and not take it at its face value.

Sahni says that the weakness in the Indian policy towards the whole issue of Pakistan-backed terrorism is that the Delhi expects the US to fight its war. It was adventitious that the American intelligence agencies have unravelled the ISI connection to 26/11 though they have known of Pakistan government's involvement in terror acts in India and refused to accept India's assertion that this was the case. “But it is left to us to use the hard power to win the war against terrorism. Soft power in terms of evidence of the ISI's involvement can only supplement the hard decisions that need to be taken,” he says.

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