Militants in Pakistan get official patronage: NSA (Lead)July 20th, 2010 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The interrogation of Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, who helped the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, points to official patronage of terror groups, National Security Adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said Tuesday.
Without naming Pakistan, Menon said the nexus had left no room for India to be optimistic as the link was growing “stronger”.
“It has been brought to us through Headley that there are clear links between militants and official establishments. It is that nexus with existing intelligence agencies that makes it much a harder phenomenon for us to deal with and suggest it won’t be broken soon,” Menon said, addressing a conference on terrorism here.
He said the information that Indian investigating agencies have and deal with suggest that the link “is getting stronger”.
The interrogation of Headley proved “our worst fears have come true and the situation is as bad as we thought”, Menon said in his brief speech at the conference on ‘Countering terrorism in South Asia: Perspective from US and India’ organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the US-based Heritage Foundation.
Stating that “there is less possibility of being optimistic”, the NSA said the traditional definition of terror groups in South Asia has become obsolete in the wake of these outfits merging to conduct operations.
“The other aspect that is coming from it is how over times in the last few years these terror groups in South Asia have got fused, they are training together, using the same communication,” Menon said.
“The traditional distinction of these terror groups has become meaningless,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s “good” Taliban and “bad” Taliban theory.
Menon is the second high ranking Indian official to talk about official patronage militant groups receive in Pakistan.
Earlier on the eve of the India-Pakistan talks in Islamabad last week, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai had said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a “much more significant role” to play in the Mumbai mayhem and that the Pakistani spy agency was “literally controlling and coordinating the attacks from the beginning till the end”.
Headley, who is in a Chicago jail, was interrogated by Indian investigators, including sleuths from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), last month.
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- ISI hired Headley to spy on India, Mumbai attacks: report - Jan 01, 2011
- Headley disclosures are a fit case for RTI (Comment) - Jul 22, 2010
- Delhi was target after ISI-aided Mumbai attack, says Headley (Second Lead) - Oct 19, 2010
- US move on Lashkar-e-Toiba: Better late than never (Comment) - Apr 03, 2012
- Headley helped Lashkar prepare for 26/11 attacks, reported to ISI about its activities - Oct 19, 2010
- Headley: An elusive spy who betrayed friends and allies - Nov 24, 2011
- US admits ISI-Taliban link, allays India's Afghan worries (Lead) - Jul 22, 2010
- 'Jindal got regular information about Mumbai from Headley' - Jul 05, 2012
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Tags: countering terrorism, david coleman, heritage foundation, india pakistan, intelligence agencies, interrogation, lashkar e taiba, menon, militant groups, national security adviser, nsa, orf, pakistan talks, patronage, research foundation, South Asia, terror attack, terror groups, traditional distinction, worst fears