Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani on Tuesday claimed that Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist caught in 2008 Mumbai attacks, was not a Pakistani national. Gillani was the prime minister when the attack took place.
When pointed out that the Pakistan media itself went to Kasab’s village proving he was Pakistani, Gillani replied with:
No, he was not. Can we go on to the next question? The evidence wasn’t sufficient.
Speaking with CNN-News18 on the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan after the Uri attack, Gillani also said that evidence given by India after every terror attack is insufficient.
Interestingly, Gillani had visited David Coleman Headley’s home within weeks after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Lashkar terrorist told a Mumbai court in March this year.
The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative-turned approver in the 26/11 case said this while he was being cross-examined by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal who is an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai siege, via a video-link from the US.
In January 2009, less than two months after the Mumbai attack, Gillani had unceremoniously removed Major General (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani as Pakistan’s National Security Advisor for publicly disclosing Ajmal Kasab’s nationality.
Durrani later mentioned that the decision to reveal Kasab’s identity to the media was his own, but that it was taken after consultations with all important officials, including then ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
When asked what the situation is like 10 days post the Uri attack which cost India lives of 19 of its soldiers, the former prime minister said:
They had jumped to conclusions on the Uri attack without investigation. I think they are all allegations. They are factually wrong. Even in the past I have been saying the same during the Mumbai attack.
During the course of the interview, Gillani further added:
Our relations with India were not bad when Manmohan Singh was prime minister... Relations will only improve if core issues like Kashmir are to be resolved
Gillani also said that India is using the Balochistan issue to divert attention away from the situation in Kashmir, while also accusing India of interference.
India is diverting attention from Kashmir to other issues like Balochistan... brutalities in Kashmir that are taking place are of concern. India is interfering in Balochistan... Both of us are victims of terrorism. Even as I was prime minister we had military operations in Malakand, where thousand of soldiers and civilians were martyred, we had to pay a huge price in form casualties. Even my son was kidnapped by non-state actors, but the recent problems have nothing to do with terrorism, it has to do with Kashmir.Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani