LeT-ISI ties

In one of the most important terrorism trials being held in Chicago these days, Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a co-accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, is being tried. The star witness is David Headley, a Pakistani-American and Rana’s best friend. Headley confessed to his ties with the ISI and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), a Pakistan-based banned terrorist organisation. He revealed some shocking details of how the Mumbai terror plot was planned and carried out with their help. Headley also told the court there was a plan to attack the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, after blasphemous cartoons were published in it. “Lashkar wanted to plan something. We were all infuriated,” Headley told the court. When the LeT put the Danish terror plot on hold, Headley turned to Ilyas Kashmiri, who is known to have ties with al Qaeda.

The implications of this trial for Pakistan are going to be immense. LeT and the ISI have long been known to have ties. The ISI is said to have nurtured and trained members of the LeT to conduct cross-border attacks in Indian Kashmir and inside India. After being banned, the LeT resurfaced by changing its name to Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD). On the pretext of doing ‘charity work’, the JuD has a heavy presence in Pakistan, especially in Azad Kashmir. Despite knowing that the JuD is a front for the LeT, our authorities have turned a blind eye to its activities in the public domain. After the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, the ISI and LeT were accused of masterminding and carrying out the attacks by India. Pakistan has denied these charges and maintained that non-state actors were responsible for 26/11.

Given how Headley is singing in the court, it would not be wrong to say that Pakistan seems to be in deep trouble. The international community already views the ISI with suspicion. On the heels of Osama bin Laden’s killing in Pakistan, the revelations in the Rana trial are of great relevance. In view of the ongoing trial, there has been a concerted campaign in our electronic media to project LeT chief Hafiz Saeed as someone who is a paragon of virtue. What our security establishment fails to understand is that a PR campaign in Pakistan is not going to help us when it comes to the world community. The only way to remedy the situation is by abandoning the policy of harbouring terrorists. It is time to dismantle the military-jihadi nexus.

(my editorial in Daily Times)


Blognostic said…
When Let is a global terrorist group, how come its mother ISI, the innocent baby now?

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