India Hands Pakistan 'Proof' of Ties to Attack
Letter From Sole Surviving Terror Suspect Claims His Group Was Pakistani

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, DEC. 22, 2008

For the first time, India has turned over to Pakistan what it says is written proof that the sole surviving suspect from the Mumbai terror attacks is a Pakistani citizen.

The attacks killed more than 170 people and paralyzed India's richest city for three days.

A letter written by the sole surviving gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Ameer Qasab, was delivered to the acting high commissioner in New Delhi this evening. According to India's foreign ministry, Qasab "stated that he and the other terrorists killed in the attack were from Pakistan." Pakistan's foreign ministry acknowledged that only Qasab "claims to be a Pakistani."

Pakistan received the letter about the same time that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, arrived in Islamabad. It was his second visit since the Mumbai attacks, part of an effort to defuse tensions between Pakistan and India.

Indian authorities long ago identified Qasab as one of the 10 gunmen who stormed Mumbai Nov. 26. Qasab was captured after he opened fire in the city's main train station, killing dozens.

Pakistani authorities continue to try to distance themselves from the attacks. Late last week, President Asif Ali Zardari rejected media reports that Qasab used to live in the small Punjab city of Faridkot, saying only that "the investigation is ongoing."

But in interviews with Western and Pakistani newspapers, residents of the village have said Qasab's family was quickly moved out of the village after the attacks. And Qasab's father told the Dawn newspaper, "This is the truth. I have seen the picture in the newspaper. This is my son Ajmal."

Pakistan has increasingly become to doubt Indian intentions in the last few days, leading the military to take steps to defend itself in case of an Indian attack.

Tension between India and Pakistan, a senior Pakistani military official told ABC News, is increasing by the day. On a scale of 1 to10, the tension is at a 7, the official said.

Pakistan has reinforced its positions on the border since the Mumbai attacks, and the official said last night it had reinforced them further by redeploying troops.

There had been some movement of troops from the troubled region of Swat, where the military has fought the Taliban and allied groups, to the eastern border with India, the military acknowledged.

And the military recently canceled the movement of some troops from the Punjab to the North West Frontier province, a Pakistani official said.

The air force is on high alert, and pilots are in their combat gear 24-7, the official said.

This is less about Indian moves, which have not included any serious redeployment of troops, than a lack of trust.

"We can't trust them," one military official said, and so the Pakistani military is taking "no chances."

India and the United States both said Lahskar-e-Taibi, created with the help of Pakistan's intelligence services 20 years ago, was behind the Mumbai attacks.

Both countries have put pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the group, as well as the charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the Security Council two weeks ago labeled a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The U.S. pressure on Pakistan spiked over the weekend, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Pakistan's national security adviser, Madmud Ali Durrani.

Rice delivered a message she had been giving publicly: That, unlike after the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, Pakistan needed to successfully and permanently evict groups accused of sponsoring terrorism from Pakistani soil.

"Thus far, we've seen some positive steps" by the Pakistanis, Rice told the Council on Foreign Relations last week, "though they're not nearly enough to this point."

Indian diplomats acknowledge that their patience with Pakistan is wearing thin.

"The less action you see in Pakistan, the more denials you see, the more the doubt [of Pakistan's intentions] is just going to continue," one Indian diplomat told ABC News today.

But diplomats acknowledged that India didn't want war and had no intention of escalating tensions to the point of war.

And so they have turned to the international community, especially the United States, to try to convince Pakistan to shut down bank accounts and training facilities apparently being used by groups accused of sponsoring terrorism inside Pakistan.

"This terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan is the greatest terrorist danger to peace and security of the entire civilized world," Pranab Mukherjee, India's external affairs minister, told a meeting of Indian diplomats in New Delhi today, according to The Associated Press. "We have so far acted with utmost restraint and are hopeful that the international community will use its influence to urge the Pakistani government to take effective action," he said.

India and the United States both said they are waiting for Pakistan to demonstrate a serious intention to attack the groups.

Pakistan's politicians have mostly declared their intention to crack down on any group once India provides evidence of who was behind the Mumbai attack.

But Indian and American officials express some doubt whether the country's powerful military establishment is willing to follow through once evidence is presented. Retired Pakistani officials acknowledged the military might not agree with the politicians if there is a decision made to once and for all eliminate groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

"What the Americans are asking the government to do, the government doesn't wish to do that," said Hamid Gul, a former director general of Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI.

"And then the government passes this along to the army. The army obviously will pass along the orders, but with a degree of reluctance."

FO rejects Indian claims of providing evidence\12\23\story_23-12-2008_pg1_5


ISLAMABAD: India has not shared with Pakistan any evidence or information regarding the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in last month’s Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday. “Pakistan has so far not received any information or evidence relating to the Mumbai incident from India,” a statement said. staff report