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Gafoor does a Modi on 26/11

Gafoor does a Modi on 26/11

Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: February 13, 2009

After admitting that there was local support for the Mumbai terror attack - something Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also hinted at - city Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor on Thursday night backtracked on his claim that some Indian nationals were among the 16 men wanted for their role in the carnage.

When asked by reporters how many more were still wanted in connection with 26/11 shortly after Pakistan gave its first formal response to the Indian dossier, Gafoor said, "Fourteen to sixteen men, including Indians and Pakistanis, are wanted in the attacks." In an apparent damage control exercise, Gafoor quickly clarified his stand claiming that 16 Pakistanis were involved in the 26/11 strikes of whom nine had been killed while one terrorist - Ajmal Kasab - was captured and six others were still wanted. The six Pakistanis included Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and suspected 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, he said. "Why should we talk to Pakistan about Indians," Gafoor said while backtracking on his earlier remarks. Gafoor had also said that two Indians have already been arrested in this connection, a reference to Fahim Ansari and Sahabuddin, who hail from Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil also came out with a statement saying thus far there is no evidence of any local support in the attack. Chidambaram, when asked to comment on Modi's remark that the Mumbai terror attacks would not have been possible without support from locals, had said: "You should ask Narendra Modi whether he and Pakistan are in contact with each other." On Tuesday night, Modi said he was quoted out of context. "I meant to say that if Pakistan executed such a massive operation then it would not have been possible without a local recce. There must have been some networking. The Indian Government should also probe that angle," Modi said. Reacting to Chidambaram's remarks, Modi hit back, asking him what kind of "friendship" he has with Pakistan that the Centre has not completed fencing work on Gujarat border.

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