The ongoing trial of David Coleman Headley, one of the prime accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, has revealed that he nursed a hatred towards India and Indians since December 1971. He also said that high level Pakistani officials visited him at his residence, and the US financed one of his visits to Pakistan. Expressing his anti-India sentiment, Mr Headley stated said that he had hatred for India since 1971 when his school was bombed by India fighter planes during India-Pakistan war, and he joined Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to take revenge. Mr Headley’s confessions come at a crucial time when India and Pakistan seek to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue. He was testifying before a Mumbai court on March 24-25.
In a startling revelation, Mr Headley said that the then Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani visited his house after the death of his father. Some of his close relatives including his father and brother were in the Pakistan establishment, however, he refused to divulge details about them.
He revealed that the US had once financed his trip to Pakistan and also claimed that he had “donated” a sizeable amount to Lashkar-e-Taiba till 2006. Mr Headley said: “The Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US financed my trip. I was in contact with DEA then, but it is not true that between 1988 and 1998 I was providing information or assisting DEA.”
Mr Headley also revealed that the LeT had tried to kill Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray but the assassin assigned to the job was caught. Elaborating on it he said that he did not have first-hand knowledge, but was informed that the LeT conspired to kill Mr Thackeray and that there was an attempt. “I do not know which year but an attempt was made and the person escaped from jail,” Mr Headley said in his statement.
The revelations made by Mr Headley once again raised question on Pakistan’s top leadership coordinating with terror outfits and its commitment to combat terror.
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