Monday, October 23, 2006

Pakistan's potential role with terror

The headline states: "Indian officials split on Pakistan role in bombings"

But, that might be the worst possible headline for what this story actually reports.

International Herald Tribune:
NEW DELHI Three weeks after the police in India accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of colluding in serial bombings on the commuter train line in Mumbai, the commercial capital, a senior Indian official said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the evidence was short of "clinching."

"There are some pieces of the puzzle missing," the official, M. K. Narayanan, the Indian national security adviser, said in an interview on CNN-IBN, a private television network. "If the courts decide they want the full puzzle, it will be difficult. So I am hesitant to say that the evidence is clinching. But it is pretty good."

Narayanan spoke against the backdrop of a new accord between India and Pakistan, longtime rivals, to share evidence of terrorist acts. Its first test would be the blasts in Mumbai, formerly Bombay. He said that the police had uncovered "enough connectivity, linkages, confessions and arrests based on those confessions," but that legal issues remained about the nature of the confessions.

Several suspects this month retracted confessions in which they had described going to guerrilla training camps in Pakistan, saying the police had beaten and coerced them. Indian legal experts have said, though, that once the case goes to court, the defense would have to prove that the confessions were false and involuntary.

The July 11 bombings, one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent years, killed more than 180 people. The police quickly described them as the work of two banned groups, Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Students Islamic Movement of India.

On Sept. 30, the police in Mumbai for the first time pointed at the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, in Islamabad. At the time, the Pakistani Foreign Office quickly issued a rejoinder, calling the police statements "unsubstantiated allegations, which the Indian officials and media keep making for propaganda purposes."
Officials in India have expressed different levels of certainty, but they have hardly "split" on their assertions.


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