US did not share information on Headley, asserts Pillai

October 27th, 2010 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi,Oct 27 (IANS) Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Wednesday said that India was disappointed that the US did not share information on Pakistani-American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, now in US custody, for conspiracy in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

“They did not share Headley’s name. Had they done so, at least after the horrific Mumbai attacks, Headley could have been nabbed as he travelled to India in 2009 March,” Pillai said in an interview to CNN-IBN.

Asked about media reports that the US did not act even after one of Headley’s wives tipped off anti-terror officials about his militant links, Pillai said: “You could say we were disappointed that the name of David Headley was not shared, if not pre-26/11 at least post-26/11, so that at least when he came subsequently to India at that time we could have nabbed him here.”

Pillai said the government is prepared for any eventuality during the four-day India visit of US President Barrack Obama starting Nov 6.

He said the government does not have any intelligence report of any 26/11 type attack during Obama’s visit.

“But definitely, we do believe that the visit of the US president to India is, shall I say from the publicity point if view, large enough for people to try and create something, even if it’s not in some place nearby where Obama would be there but could be somewhere else.”

“Therefore, we have to take all adequate precautions,” the home secretary said.

Pillai said the sharing of intelligence between India and the US has increased considerably.

“We have also signed the counter-terrorism initiative…we are getting into new areas of cooperation, not just in intelligence but like training of our forensic scientists so that there is a better investigation of terrorism cases, also cooperation in many other aspects of terrorism,” he added.

Pillai said he did not see any impact of the US pressure on Pakistan reflected on the activities of militants in Kashmir.

“Whatever they have…they have been putting some pressure, we really haven’t seen any real action insofar as groups that are coming and creating trouble for us in Kashmir,” he said.

He said there was fear that incidents of killing of civilians like in Chittisinghpora in Kashmir on the eve of then president Bill Clinton’s visit in 2000 would be repeated.

“That’s the type of fear we have that innocent civilians will be killed and the blame would then be put. Like last time, the entire blame was put on the Indian Army having conducted that and all indications are that the propaganda machinery would be out to do almost the same, and therefore we are being careful.”

The home secretary said, “Militants would like to try and see if they can have any spectacular incident which they could then get worldwide attention on that”.

“And we are taking whatever precautions we can to see that no innocent civilian lives are lost,” Pillai said.

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