Describing the terror attack on Mumbai as an 'invasion of India' launched from Pakistan, Leader of Opposition L K Advani on Friday demanded the setting up of an inquiry commission at central level to determine what went wrong and suggest steps to prevent the recurrence of such terror strikes.
Speaking on the Motion of Thanks to President's address in the Lok Sabha, he also asked the government to share with the House the evidence given to Pakistan on 26/11, especially in the wake of the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed, apparently on the grounds of insufficient proof.
He also wanted the government to expedite the trial of Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist arrested during the 26/11 attacks. Advani, who was reconciliatory towards the government during the one-hour speech, appreciated the emphasis given to security in the President's address. He said terrorism was 'proxy war' launched by Pakistan on India after its defeat in three full-fledged wars.
Referring to 26/11, he said it was not an ordinary terror strike but an 'invasion of India' and 'a kind of war'. He disagreed with the reported conclusions of the Pradhan committee of the Maharashtra government that the Mumbai attacks was a 'failure' of the Centre only and there was no lapse on the part of the state authorities.
"The Centre should set up a Commission of Inquiry to review the conclusions of the Pradhan Committee... The country and the Parliament should know what went wrong and where," he said.
Advani said the Commission would find the lapses, particularly as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan had earlier warned that the next terror attack could come via sea..
While demanding the setting up of the inquiry commission, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the United States had taken a similar step after the 9/11 attacks and the probe panel had come out with recommendations to prevent recurrence of such attacks.
Referring to the release of Mumbai attacks 'mastermind' Hafiz Saeed by the Lahore High Court earlier this week, Advani said he had been set free on 'technical grounds of insufficient evidence'. He noted that Saeed had been arrested by Pakistan under intense international pressure, after the United Nations Security Council declared that JuD had links with the al Qaeda and the Taliban.
"The UN Security Council took action but the Pakistan government allowed him to go scot-free... Pakistan government will say that it (release) was a court decision. Pakistan government will try to hide behind it," Advani said.
"I demand that the evidence, which the government has given to Pakistan on the Mumbai attacks, should be shared with the House so that the nation knows on what basis Pakistan charged Saeed," he said. He also suggested that the government should put pressure on Pakistan on the issue.
On Mumbai attacks, the former deputy prime minister said the Inter Services Intelligence must have been involved in it as it is well-known that the intelligence and Lashkar-e-Tayiba have 'strong ties'.
Advani said Vinita Kamte, widow of Maharashtra police officer Ashok Kamte, had leveled certain allegations and cast aspersions over the Pradhan Committee's observations and these need to be examined.