March 6, 2017 (New Delhi) - Pakistan’s former national security adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani admitted that the 26/11 Mumbai attack, which claimed 166 lives, including 18 security personnel and a few foreigners, was carried out by a terror group based in Pakistan and called it a “classic” example of cross-border terror. “I hate to admit that the 26/11 Mumbai attack carried out by a terror group based in Pakistan on November 26, 2008, is a classic trans-border terrorist event,” said Durrani, who was the NSA when 10 Pakistani terrorists sailed into Mumbai and launched coordinated attacks across Mumbai.
Durrani, however, maintained that the Pakistani government had no role in the attack. He was speaking at a conference on combating terrorism at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi.
On November 26, 2008, ten members of terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba launched a series of attack at eight places in Mumbai including, the famous Taj Hotel. It took security forces three days to flush out the terrorists as they launched indiscriminate firing at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, Leopold Cafe and the Nariman House Jewish Centre. In early 2009, Durrani was sacked from the post of National Security Advisor for confirming Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab's Pakistani nationality to the media.
India has provided ample evidence to Pakistan over the involvement of top Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders in the November 26, 2008, attacks. However, latter has denied all such allegations blaming ‘non-state actors’ for the incident. Durrani also hit out at Saeed — a terrorist commander who carries a $10 million reward announced by the US. “Hafiz Saeed has no utility. I hope they (Pakistan government) will punish (him).”
Saeed was put under house arrest on January 30. The Lashkar founder, who now runs a banned Jamaat-ud-Daawa charity, was detained after the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 but was freed by a court in 2009. Pakistan has also listed the Lashkar founder under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act — a tacit acknowledgment of his links to terrorism.
Also speaking at the conference, Union Minister of Defence (India), Manohar Parrikar talked about the challenges that are being faced by international security and related establishments, developing because of terrorism. He said, “Terrorism remains a pervasive challenge to international security, developing coordinated global response is important. Terrorism is undoubtedly the single biggest threat to international peace & security.” He further added, “Afghanistan and India have been victims of proxy war for decades now.”
Based on reporting by Times of India, India Today, and Hindustan Times