Mumbai gunman is Pakistan citizen

Pakistan has said the only surviving gunman from November's attacks in Mumbai 
(Bombay) is a Pakistani citizen.

After weeks of refusing to confirm the allegations, the foreign ministry said: 
"We have just been informed... that Ajmal Kasab is a Pakistani national."

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab was detained on the first night of the attacks.

India says all 10 gunmen were from the Pakistan-based militant group 
Lashkar-e-Taiba. Relations with Pakistan, which denies any role, are under 

More than 170 people died when 10 gunmen attacked Mumbai on 26 November.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has dismissed his 
national security adviser, Mehmood Ali Durrani, amid the tensions with India.

It is not entirely clear why Mr Durrani lost his job. One report suggested it 
was because he had made unauthorised comments to the media that the surviving 
gunman was Pakistani.

A prime ministerial statement said Mr Durrani had been sacked "for his 
irresponsible behaviour for not taking the prime minister and other 
stakeholders into confidence, and a lack of co-ordination on matters of 
national security".


It is the first time Pakistan has acknowledged any links to the gunmen after 
weeks of refusing to confirm Indian claims.

"We are confirming that Qasab is Pakistani but investigations are still 
ongoing," Information Minister Sherry Rehman told the BBC on Wednesday.

Pakistan had previously said Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab's name was not listed in 
the national database of citizens.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that it is not clear why the Pakistani 
authorities have taken so long to admit publicly what many officials long ago 
conceded in private.

But our correspondent says the Pakistani security establishment in particular 
has a reputation for dragging its feet when it comes to making any sort of 
military or political concessions to India.

Confirmation of the suspect's nationality comes after India provided Pakistan 
with a dossier of evidence which it said linked the Mumbai attackers and 
elements in Pakistan.

On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that because of the 
"sophistication and military precision of the attack it must have had the 
support of some official agencies in Pakistan".

Pakistan rejected Mr Singh's allegations and accused India of raising regional 

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab faces a number of charges including murder, attempted 
murder, waging war against a country and criminal conspiracy.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/01/07 18:12:07 GMT


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