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Army denies hand in India terrorist activities

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army says there is “absolutely no question” of any Pakistani member of the armed forces being involved in terrorist activities inside India.

This response from the armed forces came after New Delhi, for the first time, made public the names of 50 Pakistanis accused of involvement in terrorist activities in India. Of the 50 names, five are serving Pakistani Majors Sajid Majid, Major Iqbal, Major Sameer Ali, Sayed Abdul Rehman alias Pasha and Abu Hamza.

“There is absolutely no truth in these allegations,” DG ISPR Maj Gen Athar Abbas told The News. “There is no question of any serving officer, either in the military or ISI, being involved in such activities. Our services and intelligence follow the military norms of discipline.”

When an official at the Foreign Office was contacted for a reaction about India’s decision to release the names of 50 people allegedly involved in terrorist activities in India, the official gave an ambiguous answer, saying some lists were exchanged by the two countries in New Delhi. “Pakistan and India are both confronted with terrorism. We believe all issues dealing with terrorism need to be discussed together,” the official said.

India and Pakistan had exchanged lists of ‘fugitives’ in March this year during what was seen as a ‘successful’ meeting between the two interior secretaries, GK Pillai and Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.

It is important to note that New Delhi has made the list public at a time when Pakistan is already reeling under pressure both at home and abroad after Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Abbottabad. The Wednesday’s accusations come on the heels of hawkish statements made by the Indian military leadership that India too, if need be, could carry out a unilateral raid to take out terrorists in Pakistan that posed a threat to India.

On the contrary, statements coming from the South Bloc express the hope that the India-Pakistan dialogue process will continue and that Pakistan should be treated with the respect it deserves.

The names of the ‘fugitives’ released by India include: Mohd Hafiz Saeed, Sajid Majid, Syed Abdur Rehman, Major Iqbal, Ilyas Kashmiri, Rashid Abdullah, Major Sameer Ali, Dawood Ibrahim, Memon Ibrahim, Shaikh Shakeel, Memon Ayub, Anis Ibrahim Kaskar Shaikh, Anwar Ahmed, Munaf Abdul, Mohd Tainur, Mohd Ahmed Dosa, Javed Patel, Slaim Abdul, Riyaz Abu Bakar Khatri, Khan Bashir, Yakub Khan, Mohd Shafi, Irfan Ahmed Feroz Abdul, Ishaq Atta, Sagir Sabir Ali, Aftab Batki, Maulana Mohd, Mohd Yusuf Shah, Cheema Qazam, Syed Zabuiddin, Ibrahim Athar, Azhar Yusuf, Mistri Zahur, Sayeed Shahid, Shakir Mohd, Abdul Rauf, Aminullah Khan, Suffiah Mufti, Nachan Akmal, Khan Wazhul, Yakub Khan Channeparambil Mohd, Lakhbir Singh, Paramjit Singh, Ranjit Singh, Wadhawa Singh, Aabdu Hamza, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Amir Reza Khan.

Agencies add: India rejected Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s claim that the designated global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is not in his country, insisting that Pakistan needed to disclose the whereabouts of the don who allegedly has houses in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

“If the minister (Rehman Malik) is so sure that Dawood is not in Pakistan, he should tell us where is he… According to our information, Dawood is in Pakistan,” home secretary Gopal K Pillai said in a sharp riposte to Malik’s assertion, in an interview to an Indian TV channel, that Dawood was not lodged in the neighbouring country.

Malik made light of Dawood’s daughter being married to former cricketer Javed Miandad’s son, as he shrugged off New Delhi’s charge that the gang lord had been sheltered by Pakistan as part of its anti-India agenda.

“I think marrying a lady in Pakistan does not give a certificate that Dawood is in Pakistan. But if you have any information, we will happy to have a look into it. If we get hold of him, naturally we will look into it. But as far as our information is concerned, he is not here.”

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