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Pakistan Has No Utility For 26/11 Mastermind Hafiz Saeed, And Should Punish Him, Says Former Pak National Security Advisor

Durrani denied Pak government's role in the attack.

06/03/2017 2:03 PM IST | Updated 06/03/2017 5:47 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Pakistan's former National Security Advisor, Mahmud Ali Durrani, blamed his home country for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 166 lives, and said Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, accused of carrying out the deadly strikes, should be severely punished.

Durrani lashed out at Jama'at-ud-Da'wah chief Saeed and said that he had "no utility", and Pakistan "should act against him."

Durrani was addressing the 19th edition of the Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), a government think thank. Durrani was Pakistan's NSA during the Mumbai terror attacks, during which 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists launched coordinated attacks that lasted four days across several targets in the city, including the iconic Taj Hotel, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, Leopold Cafe, and the Nariman House.

India holds Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of the LeT and chief of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, responsible for the 26/11 terror attacks. Durrani accepted that the terror strikes had originated from Pakistan but maintained that the Pakistani establishment wasn't involved.

"I can say with authority no one on the ISI — Pakistan's intelligence agency — or establishment was aware of the plan to strike in India. I had also told the US, that they are free to go after the Haqqani network inside Pakistan. We may have made some noise, but deep down we will be happy if they were to be eliminated by USA," he said.

Blaming Pakistan for exporting terror, Afghanistan said some nations must be designated as "terrorist states" failing which at least "individuals" must be designated as "terrorists" to combat terror more effectively.

"If we don't have the ability to designate states, let's hold individual accountable," Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghanistan's National Security Advisor (NSA) said.

Making a not-so-veiled attack on Pakistan, Atmar said using one terrorist against another doesn't work. "National action against terrorism in our region is failing and there is need to address the fertile grounds available to terrorist," he said.

Recently, both Afghanistan and Pakistan have exchanged a list of wanted terrorists and training areas in each other's territory. "We have told Pakistan that you act on our list we will work on your list but there has to be third party verification," Atmar said and added that there is "no good or bad terrorist."

Atmar also said that Afghanistan would use its special forces to attack terror sanctuaries. "Our special forces are the best in the region, we have decided to go after the sanctuaries wherever they are," he said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who also addressed the conference, called for a coordinated global action against terrorism. Such action, the Defence Minister said, should be initiated from Asia.

An Asian initiative on will put greater pressure on the rest of world. The arc of terror has been spreading across the world. "Even though there is a broad consensus on what constitutes an act of terror, a formal agreement is missing," the minister said.

He said India first submitted a proposal for comprehensive convention on international terrorism at the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 and twenty years later we continue to push and put our weight behind this aspect to shut down terror camps, ban all terror groups, and make cross border terror an extraditable offence.

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