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Headley's handler was let off by Pakistan

By A rediff correspondent
December 20, 2009 20:08 IST
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In a stunning revelation, according to sources in Islamabad, retired Pakistani Army Major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a key link between David Coleman Headily and his backers inside Pakistan was arrested during this summer by Pakistani agencies but was later released for his 'devotion' to Pakistan.

"Pakistani authorities arrested him in summer this year but during investigation Syed revealed that the focus of his activities was India not Pakistan. Subsequently he was immediately released in an honorable way", well-placed sources told

According to the sources, "In summer, Pakistani security agencies had arrested Anjum Iqbal, another suspected terrorist and recovered a number of suspicious items from his possession. A map was  showing how to enter India via Nepal was recovered. The detainee also revealed that the well-sketched map was prepared by Major Syed for him. That led to Syed's arrest. At early stage the agencies believed Hashim was a member of  Ilyas Kashmiri's 313-Brigade, that targets both American and Pakistani forces. When it was revealed that Hashim aims to target Indian installations and was not antagonistic to Pakistan, he was released in a dignified manner." Thus Hashim was released and just like 'good Pakistani Taliban' restarted his terrorist activities.

During interrogation, Headley has disclosed his links with Major Hashim and under American instructions, Pakistani security agencies had arrested Hashim. "If the US agency had not pointed out Major Hashim, there was no chance of his being arrested, as he was never found to indulge in any anti-state activity--he was a valuable asset for Pakistan becauseof his  animosity for India," the sources added.

Hashim, who hails from Lahore, is also charged with participating in planning a terrorist attack in Denmark. "Major Hashim also was in Helmand (Afghanistan) for long time and organized the Punjabi Taliban against the foreigner occupants on behalf of the Afghan Taliban. He is a skilled person in making plans and preparing maps for the terrorists", sources added.
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A rediff correspondent