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Strong Pakistan link in Headley probe: India

By Mohammed Siddique
November 06, 2009 17:56 IST
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Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into a terror plot targeting India has confirmed a definite Pakistan link.

Speaking to reporters after attending a passing-out parade of 61st batch of Indian Police Officers at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad on Thursday, Chidambaram said that on the advice of FBI, two or more persons have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the same terror plot, uncovered by FBI.

"There is an obvious Pakistan link. If you have read the affidavit FBI agent has filed in the court and reproduced in the paper, there is a Pakistan link."

"One of the arrested persons, David Headley, visited Pakistan many times, the minister said, adding, "I think on FBI's advice, two or more persons have been arrested in Pakistan. There is definitely a Pakistan link," he said.

David Headley and his aide Tawwahur Hussien Rana reportedly told FBI investigators that there was a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack in India on Lashkar-e-Toiba's behest. They said that the plan was to target the National Defence College in Delhi, some tourist destinations popular among the western tourists and two major schools in North India on the eve of the first anniversary of 26/11.

Asked about the reported intelligence inputs on possible attack sites, he said, "If.there are any targets, I will not tell you in public. Don't create alarm. Security forces are vigilant and perfectly capable of thwarting any attack. There is no reason to raise any alarm."

On another question, Chidambaram said that the Indian Mujahideen was some sort a virtual organization with lots of people and groups carrying out activities under its name. "Many people and groups claim they belong to Indian Mujahideen. We have arrested number of people who claim to operate under the name of the outfit whenever there was evidence," the home minister said.

In another significant remark, Chidambaram dismissed all the talk about Central government launching operation Green Hunt against Maoists as a creation of media. He said the Centre was only assisting state governments in their anti-insurgency measures.

"There is no operation. Operation is your invention. State governments are carrying out all the (counter) insurgency measures against Naxalites. Wherever necessary, the Centre is providing assistance by way of central paramilitary forces, intelligence sharing and technical help. State police is responsible for maintaining law and order. Operation Greenhunt is purely an invention of the media," he said.

Earlier in his address to the IPS cadets, the home minister said India today was better prepared to face any challenge to its security, sovereignty and integrity.

"As a nation growing not only in numbers, but also in influence, growing as economic power, a regional power, an Asian power, we can never afford to sleep. We must always remain vigilant," he said.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad