As the world pays respects to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, members of the European Parliament have questioned Pakistan PM Imran Khan as to what actions Islamabad has taken against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the perpetrator of the carnage. They have also called for the European Parliament to impose sanctions on Pakistan.
In a letter to Khan, Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki and Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello have said: “We write to you to ask what action Pakistan has taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba, the extremist Islamist terrorist organization, based in Pakistan, known to have carried out the multiple shooting and bombing attacks that happened in Mumbai in 200?”
Additionally, what action has, and is, Pakistan taking against terrorist groups operating within the country in general, the members asked.
As many as 166 innocent people lost their lives in the 26 November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Nine LeT terrorists were also killed and 300 individuals had sustained injuries in the incident.
The MEPs point out that evidence from the US and India intelligence reports, DNA samples, photographs, and identification of the origins of the attackers have been documented, but despite the admission by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the Pakistani officials’ involvement in the crime, the masterminds of the attacks are still at large.
India’s National Investigation Agency had probed the conspiracy behind the attack and filed a charge sheet against nine persons: David Headley, Hafiz Saeed, Tahawwur Rana, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, two serving Pakistan Army officials — Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali — Ilyas Kashmiri, Sajid Malik and Abdul Rehman Hashim.
The only captured Pakistani gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, had confessed that the conspiracy for the attacks was hatched in Pakistan by terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, including the alleged mastermind Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi. Kasab was hanged following a trial in India, in 2012.
The FBI had arrested David Headley and Tahawwur Rana after agency officials told a trial court in Mumbai that the mobile phones recovered from the terror sites were used by the terrorists to communicate with their handlers in Pakistan during the siege.
A report in The Week says that while India’s Home Ministry is “pursuing Rana’s extradition from the US (and the NIA is hopeful of laying hands on him soon), Pakistan’s failure to take action against the perpetrators on its soil, or prosecute any of the accused, shows its lack of commitment towards countering terrorism”.
Sajid Mir, one of the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, is wanted by five countries — India, the US, Denmark, Australia, and France. The US Department of Justice has also filed a case against Mir and Abdul Rehman Pasha, The Week report says. But neither he has been arrested nor prosecuted by Pakistan.
The Economic Times reported that French Member of the European Parliament Thierry Mariani and Italian Member Gianna Gancia have written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their support for India’s respect for democratic constitutional responsibility and to reinforce their backing for a common goal to address extremism and terrorism.
“Whilst Pakistan has tried to deny its links with terrorist organizations the evidence, including United States intelligence reports, the origin of the attackers and Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s admission of the country’s involvement, all demonstrate, without doubt, that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan remains a global threat,” stated Mariani and Gancia.
They said that “as parliamentarians, we have called for the European Union to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and on individuals; terrorists, and those supporting and promoting terrorist activities; and to condemn state-sponsored terrorism”.