Pakistan says Kasab didn’t use sea route; doublespeak, retorts India (Lead)

February 27th, 2009 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad/New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) In a fresh spin, Pakistan Friday said that Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman caught alive in the Mumbai terror strike, didn’t take the sea route to the Indian port city - a suggestion that two Indian ministers immediately shot down.
“There is no proof that Kasab took the sea route,” Pakistani Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir said at a press conference in Islamabad.

“I am sure somebody else will refute him tomorrow,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram retorted at a press conference in New Delhi.

“Pakistan has often spoken in different voices (on the Mumbai carnage),” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said at a press conference that preceded Chidambaram’s.

“This multiple speak, duplicity and denial has created confusion. They (the Pakistani leadership) have to decide to speak in one voice,” Sharma maintained.

“Once having accepted a fact, it is better to take that to its logical conclusion,” Sharma added.

Asked to comment on Bashir’s statement that the Mumbai attacks pointed to the failure of the Indian Navy in maintaining vigil, Chidambaram said: “I don’t need certificates or appreciation from the Pakistani Navy.”

“I have said in parliament there have been lapses and these will be plugged,” the Indian home minister added.

Bashir, at his press conference, admitted that patrolling the waters on the Pakistani side of the international border off the Gujarat coast was “difficult” due to the dispute over the Sir Creek.

India says Kasab and nine other Pakistanis had set sail from Karachi, hijacked a trawler after entering Indian waters and finally used a rubber boat to sneak into Mumbai Nov 26, 2008 and embarked on a killing spree that lasted over 60 hours.

Kasab is now in the custody of the Mumbai Police, which Wednesday filed a chargesheet naming him and 34 others, all of them operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, for the Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of more than 170 people.

Kasab is also one of the eight men named in a case registered by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency on the Mumbai attacks.

The case was registered Feb 12 on the day Interior Minister Rehman Malik admitted that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched on Pakistani soil.

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