Observer finds proof Qasab is Pakistani
London: Reinforcing India’s assertion that the Mumbai attacks had Pakistani links, a leading daily here said on Sunday that the lone surviving terrorist belongs to a village in Okara district of Pakistan’s Punjab, an “active” recruiting ground for Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, alias Qasab, interrogated in custody after the terror attacks that killed 183 people, reportedly told Indian officials that he came from Faridkot village in Pakistan’s Punjab province. His father was named Mohammed Amir, married to a woman named Noor.
During the past week, Pakistan have cast doubt over the authenticity of the information about the terrorist.
But residents of a village in Pakistan Punjab’s Okara District have reportedly told The Observer that Amir Qasab hails from there.
According to the report in The Observer, electoral lists for Faridkot show 478 registered voters, including the name of Qasab’s father Mohammed Amir. The paper further goes on to say that a villager, who cannot be named for his own protection, said the village was an active recruiting ground for the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“We know that boy [caught in Mumbai] is from Faridkot,” he said. “We knew from the first night [of the attack]. They brainwash our youth about jihad, there are people who do it in this village. It is so wrong,” he added.
‘The Observer’ report said that it conducted an investigation and obtained the electoral lists for Faridkot showing 478 registered voters, including one Mohammed Amir, married to Noor Elahi. Amir’s and Noor’s national identity card numbers have also been obtained.
At the address mentioned in the list, a man identifying himself as Sultan said he was the father-in-law of Mohammed Amir.
According to other locals, Qasab has not lived in Faridkot for about four years but would return to see his family once a year and frequently talked of freeing Kashmir from Indian rule.
The truth about Qasab’s origins are key to the ongoing investigation of where the attackers came from and will have a profound impact on relations between India and Pakistan. Islamabad has repeatedly said that no proof has been provided to back Indian accusations that all the gunmen came from Pakistan.
Copyright 2008 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. . All rights reserved.