Cablegate: Mea Joint Secretary Raghavan Calls Meeting for An
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 NEW DELHI 001778
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PK IN
SUBJECT: MEA JOINT SECRETARY RAGHAVAN CALLS MEETING FOR AN
"URGENT BRIEFING" RELATED TO 26/11 MUMBAI ATTACK
Classified By: POLCOUNS Uzra Zeya for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)
1. (C)Summary: Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, T.C.A. Raghavan called an ""urgent briefing"" on August 18 for representatives of countries whose nationals were killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Raghavan provided a dossier on Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), and the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks. He explained the difficulties the GOI faces in reengaging with Pakistan in the face of the government's unwillingness to take steps against Saeed. Representatives from the Australian, Japanese and Italian missions were present; however, the British, French, Israelis and Germans did not attend, most likely due to monsoon rain and flooding. The press covered the presentation of the dossier by MEA Secretary Nirupama Rao to Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik extensively, and reported that India has requested an Interpol Red Corner Notice be issued for Saeed. The text of the dossier follows in para 9. End Summary.
2. (C) The Ministry of External Affairs distributed a ""dossier"" on Hafiz Saeed to western and Japanese diplomats in a hurriedly called August 21 briefing. Joint Secretary Raghavan explained that the dossier had been given to the Pakistani High Commission earlier in the day. (Note: India media started reporting this story the evening of the 21st as the 5th dossier provided to the Pakistanis). He shared that there is a lot of evidence regarding the Mumbai attacks, and those leads all go back to Hafiz Saeed. Raghavan also related the history of Saeed's UN Resolution 1267 listing, his house arrest, and subsequent release on the order of the Lahore High Court. He noted that the Pakistan federal government's appeal against this release has been adjourned, and that Saeed is now at large, ""continuing his activities.""
3. (C)Raghavan continued that the Indian government takes this lack of action against Saeed very seriously because it makes it difficult to move forward with ""meaningful engagement"" in the bilateral relationship. India has given much of the information in this 5th dossier to Pakistan previously; the Pakistani response has been that there is not enough incriminating evidence to move forward with prosecution. Raghavan stressed that it is Pakistan's responsibility to develop the investigation, and asserted there would be plenty of evidence available if the Pakistani government wanted to take action. Pakistan's claim that India hasn't done enough is disingenuous, he added. In response to a question, Raghavan said that at least 20% of the information in this dossier is new, and it is all presentable evidence that could be used in a court. It is not an exchange on actionable threats. Most of the information is based on the interrogation of three individuals who are under arrest.
4. (C) Raghavan did acknowledge that Pakistan has done more than in the past: the arrest of 5-6 LeT operatives, and the Pakistanis opened an investigation into who bought the boat, for example. ""These are good steps,"" he said, but also could be viewed as ""minimal."" In India's view, the evidence is overwhelming and with a live perpetrator in GOI custody, it would have been impossible not to take some action. Pakistan had locked up some ""foot soldiers"", but wider ramifications of the Mumbai attacks had yet to be addressed. The bigger question for India is, has sufficient action been taken that that would deter more attacks? Leading LeT figures, namely Hafiz Saeed, are operating with a great deal of license in Pakistan. Raghavan also noted lack of action on previous attacks, citing the case of Dawood Ibrahim, a well-known criminal and terrorist who is operating openly in Karachi.
5. (C) In response to our question as to whether there is conditionality between progress on Saeed and the proposed talks at the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister level, NEW DELHI 00001778 002 OF 005 Raghavan responded there is not, but repeated that meaningful engagement is only possible if Pakistan takes action on terrorism. The Foreign Secretaries are still on track to meet before the UNGA and report to the FMs at that time.
6. (C) The Australians questioned whether LeT has been weakened. Raghavan responded that it would be premature to say. LeT is still a serious threat in India, and in terms of its wider networks, to other countries. He did not believe that there would be a backlash against the Pakistani government should Saeed to be arrested. While conceding that the Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD) enjoyed popular support in Pakistan, Raghavan asserted that, ""It is the links with the intelligence agencies that keeps him (Saeed) in place.""
7. (C) In response to another question, Raghavan said that the Pakistanis have not raised anything more about Balochistan. He also reported that India had not passed any information on actionable threats, as mentioned in the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement, to Pakistan since the text was agreed to in July.
8. (C) Raghavan concluded by noting that there is a lot that India and Pakistan could do together, better India-Pakistan relations would mean a more stable Pakistan, and a large portion of Pakistan's population wants better relations with India, but unless the terrorism issue is addressed, wider Indo-Pak engagement will be difficult.
9. Full Text of Dossier:
1. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is the founder-leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which was formed in 1990 as the militant wing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa. He is reported to have been born on 5 June 1950 at Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan. His Pakistani national identification No. is 35200255098427.(1)
2. After the Lashkar-e-Taiba was banned by Pakistan in January 2002, he shifted the terrorist activities of LeT to the parent organization, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
3. Sessions Case No.175 of 2009 is pending trial before the Court of Sessions for Greater Mumbai. Hafiz Saeed is among 35 ""wanted accused"". He is at SI. No. 1 of this list.
4. The Mumbai attacks can be broken down into 12 separate incidents. Consequently, 12 FIRs were registered. In each of these 12 FIRs Hafiz Saeed is shown as a wanted accused. Eventually, on 25th February 2009, a single charge sheet was filed in Sessions Case No. 175 of 2009 and on 6th May 2009 the Trial Court framed charges in that case. Apart from the three accused who have been apprehended, there are 9 deceased accused and 35 wanted accused. Hafiz Saeed is named at SI. No.1 of the 35 wanted accused. The substance of the charge is that ""being members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (internationally banned terrorist organization) during the period between December 2007 and November 2008 were party to a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India and to commit the offences punishable under..."" The enumerated offences are under The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, The Arms Act, 1959, The Explosives Act, 1884, The Explosive Substances Act, 1908, Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act, 1984, The Railways Act, 1989, The Customs Act, 1962, The Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry Into India) Act, 1920.
5. There is ample evidence to support the charges against Hafiz Saeed. Since he is a wanted accused, on 15th July 2009 the Trial Court issued a Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) and has directed the Police to arrest him with the help of Interpol and produce him before the Trial Court.
6. Mohammad Ajmal Mohammad Amir Kasab, the apprehended terrorist, is accused No. 1. On 21st February, 2009, he made NEW DELHI 00001778 003 OF 005 a confession before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. In this confession, he narrated the entire story beginning with his recruitment and ending with his arrest in Mumbai. Portions of his confession statement which refer to Hafiz Saeed are summarized below.
7. Kasab went to Lahore looking for work. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) was holding camps at different places. Kasab and his friend used to visit these camps and they decided to take training for preparing for jihad. In December 2007, Kasab and his friend Muzaffar Lal Khan reached the office of LeT in Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi. They were recruited. They went through a 21-day period of training between December 2007 and January 2008. It is during this training that he first met Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Muzammil @ Yusuf, Abu Umar Said, Abu Hamza, etc.
8. Hafiz Saeed spoke to the trainees on many occasions. Once he said, ""all the mujahiddins have to fight for freeing Kashmir"". When they were at the training camp located in the Chehalabandi mountain of Muzaffarabad, Hafiz Saeed visited the camp. There was another person whom Hafiz Saeed embraced. Kasab was told that he is ""Major General Saab"" and that the trainers were ""his men only"". When Kasab and others reached Sevai Nallah, Hafiz Saeed was present. It was Hafiz Saeed who selected the trainees and gave them new names. He named Kasab as Abu Mujahid. Kasab underwent marine training and subsequently was taken to Baitul Mujahiddin, a training camp. Hafiz Saeed was present and inquired about the marine training. Three days later, Hafiz Saeed and others sent six mujahiddin to Kashmir to carry out an attack. On the l3 day of Roza, the selected mujahiddin were called to the office of the Baitul Mujahiddin camp and Hafiz Saeed told them ""the time for jihad has come. Now we have to decide how to attack Hindustan."" Major General Saab came to the place and wanted to see their preparedness. Hafiz Saeed told Kafa to set up 10 targets. The mujahiddin were asked to shoot at the targets. Kasab fired at target number 4. Major General Saab complimented Kasab and said ""you have completely destroyed the target and I am very much pleased.""
9. After the training, Hafiz Saeed and another person made 5 ""buddies"" from among the 10 mujahiddin. Kasab was paired with
10. Instructions were given to the 5 pairs of terrorists to carry out the attacks in Mumbai. Hafiz Saeed told them ""one Hindustani boat has to be hijacked for going to Bombay from Karachi"". Hafiz Saeed fixed the time as 7:30 p.m. to carry out the attack and justified the time by saying ""at this hour there is considerable crowd at the places of our target.""
11. At the camp, Hafiz Saeed and others took the 10 mujahiddin to a big hall. It was described as the control room of the media wing. The roads in Mumbai and the targets were shown on a big screen.
12. On 22 November 2008, the terrorists left Karachi to carry out the attacks in Mumbai.
13. Fahim Ansari is the second accused in the case. He had been apprehended on 9th February 2008 as an accused in the CRPF, Rampur Camp attack case (1st January, 2008). When he was interrogated in the Mumbai attack case, he made a statement on 18th December 2008 in which he stated that, at the end of training in Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed and others visited the training camp. Hafiz Saeed and others also addressed the trainees and asserted the importance of jihad.
14. Sabahuddin is the third accused in the case. He had been apprehended on 10th February 2008 as another accused in the CRPF, Rampur Camp attack case (1st January, 2008). When he was interrogated in the Mumbai attack case, he also made a statement on 20th December 2008 in which he stated that NEW DELHI 00001778 004 OF 005 during his training in Pakistan he was taken to Muridke which is 50 kms. away from Lahore on the Lahore-Islamabad highway. That is where Hafiz Saeed and others were based. Sabahuddin was in a safe house for about 3 1/2 months till mid-March 2003. When Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest, he offered a special prayer at Mochi Darwaza in Lahore. Sabahuddin saw Hafiz Saeed for the first time at the prayer and he claimed that he was ""enlightened by his preaching during the prayer.""
15. In the Final Report submitted by the Police before the Trial Court, Hafiz Saeed has been listed among the ""planners and trainers behind the attack"". The Final Report also refers to ""communication between terrorists and co-conspirators in Pakistan."" Three mobile telephones were used by the terrorists. There were incoming calls from one number and outgoing calls were made to three numbers. According to the Final Report, these calls were made or received for seeking/giving instructions from/to the co-conspirators in Pakistan. Investigations have further revealed that these numbers were connected to an account created with CALLPHONEX, a VOIP service provider based in New Jersey, US. Kharak Singh, a wanted accused, while communicating with CALLPHONEX, used an e-mail id which was accessed from at least ten IP addresses. Five of these addresses are in Pakistan. Among them is the address of Col. R Saadat Ullah, who belongs to the Special Communication Organization, Qasim Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
16. Of the above, a copy of the confession made by Kasab before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has been given to the Government of Pakistan (Dossier Nos. 3 and 4 dated 19th May and June 2009 respectively.) Likewise, copies of the statements made by Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin have also been given to the Government of Pakistan (Dossier No.5 dated 1st August 2009.) The charges framed against the accused are a public document. Particulars relating to the CALLPHONEX and the calls made and received by the terrorists have also been shared with the Government of Pakistan in Dossier No.3 (Booklet No.14) dated 19th May 2009. The non-bailable warrant issued by the Court is a public document.
17. Among the offences for which the accused, including the wanted accused, have been charged is the offense of belonging to LeT. Since LeT is a terrorist organization listed in the Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, they have been charged with offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
18. From the above, it would be abundantly clear that there is cogent and credible evidence pointing to the involvement of Hafiz Saeed in the planning and execution of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. It is obvious that this evidence would have to be developed through:
— Further investigations in Pakistan, especially in the places mentioned by Kasab, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin in their statements;
— Interrogation of Hafiz Saeed;
— Interrogation of other persons mentioned in the statements of Kasab, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin;
— Interrogation of Pakistani nationals arrested by FIA,
— Analysis of mobile telephone call data of Pakistani nationals arrested by FIA, Pakistan.
19. These investigations/interrogations can be done only in Pakistan. The Pakistan authorities, particularly the investigating agencies, have a duty to do so. If they are unwilling or unable to investigate the case, they should allow another agency to conduct the investigations/interrogations. In this connection, it is pertinent to recall that the FBI had sought permission to conduct some investigations in Pakistan, but the FBI has not been granted such permission so far. NEW DELHI 00001778 005 OF 005
20. In the alternative, Pakistan should assist India in executing the Non-Bailable Warrant against Hafiz Saeed. If the Indian authorities are able to arrest Hafiz Saeed and produce him before the Trial Court, the investigating agency in India would be able to interrogate him and gather more evidence.
21. Pakistan cannot continue to remain in a state of denial on the involvement of Hafiz Saeed in planning and executing the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Any independent observer, who has read the material before the Trial Court in Sessions Case No. 175 of 2009, would come to the conclusion that there is cogent and convincing evidence pointing to the role of Hafiz Saeed warranting further investigation. The evidence on record together with the evidence that may be gathered in the course of further investigation would * and should - certainly lead to the prosecution of Hafiz Saeed.
(1) Source: Interpol * United Nations Security Council Special Notice dated 30th December 2008
End Text of Dossier