Hours after Pakistan rejected India’s claim that a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist captured alive in Udhampur Wednesday was a Pakistani national, a man from Pakistan said he was the unfortunate father of the attacker.
When Hindustan Times made a 20-second call on a number disclosed to the interrogators by the captured terrorist Naved, his father Mohammad Yakub said his life was in danger.
He said the LeT and the military were after his blood. They had wanted Naved dead and not caught alive.
After this disclosure, Yakub hung up.
Pakistani journalists were reportedly stopped from going to towards Ghulam Mohammadabad locality in Faisalabad, an address provided by Naved, the paper said.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan rejected India’s claim that the terrorist captured in Udhampur was a Pakistani national, PTI reports.
It said there was no record of ‘Usman Khan’ (Naved also goes by that name), who was captured in the Udhampur attack, in their National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
“NADRA record shows that India’s claims of the arrest of ‘Usman Khan’, originating from Pakistan, are totally baseless,” Pakistani government sources told The Express Tribune.
Geo TV also reported that the man arrested in India was not registered with NADRA.
Indian officials said the database does not have details of even half of Pakistan’s population.
Naved told interrogators that he had undergone three months of indoctrination and combat training at the Lashkar’s Markaz Taiba camp in Mansehra — the same facility where 26/11’s Ajmal Kasab was prepared for war, according to an Indian Express report..
Naved said he, along with three other LeT operators, had a narrow escape when a police team intercepted them in Pulwama of south Kashmir on July 23, The Hindu reports.
He said he had been in India since May 27, got “enough local support” and had been in constant touch with Abu Dujana, the number two in the LeT hierarchy.
For nearly 40 days, the four lived in a hideout at Khrew in south Kashmir where many LeT operators visited them during the holy month of Ramzan.
On July 23, they left on a small truck for Pulwama where a police team intercepted them.
Naved’s long journey began from Halan in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on May 27 along with Noman who was shot dead in the Udhampur encounter Wednesday. Two other who accompanied them were Okasha Pakhtoon and Mohammad Bhai of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwest Pakistan.
He reached the Line of Control in Kupwara on June 2 and cut the fence to enter Indian territory. The group then switched on a GPS device to find their way and walked 18 kilometres to reach Baba Rishi at Tangmarg on June 7, where they met a local guide.
Two days later, they were received by another local guide. At Kulgam, the group split.
On Tuesday, Naved and Noman arrived at Patnitop where they spent the night. Early Wednesday, they came to Simroli in Udhampur.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the BSF convoy attack case.
A team of NIA, a central probe agency created after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, headed by Inspector General Sanjeev Kumar Singh, visited the site of the encounter Thursday.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir police are searching for the truck driver, a resident of Kulgam district in Kashmir valley, who dropped the terrorists near the attack site.
A special police team have been constituted to find out how many trucks passed through Jammu-Srinagar highway on the day before the attack.
‘Pakistan stands exposed’
Earlier, congratulating the security forces, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said catching a terrorist alive was a big achievement. “In the coming days, we will get to know about the attacks Pakistan was planning,” he said.
Azad, a former J&K Chief Minister, said Pakistan stands completely exposed.
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said India must give a strong warning to its neighbor that it cannot tolerate such attacks any more.
Making a statement in Parliament, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the two terrorists who attacked a BSF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway killing two BSF personnel belonged to Pakistan.
He condemned “the persistent attempts by terrorists from across the border to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Preliminary interrogation of the captured terrorist reveals his identity as Mohammad Naved Yakub alias Usman, a resident of Faisalabad in Pakistan. He also revealed the identity of his slain accomplice as Mohammad Nomen alias Nomin, a resident of Bhawalpur, Pakistan,” he said.
Two BSF troopers — Rocky of Yamuna Nagar and Subhendu Roy of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal — were killed and 14 others injured in the attack 18 km from Udhampur town.
While one of the militants involved in the attack, Nomen was killed, Naved was captured by local villagers. “The apprehended terrorist was brought to Jammu, where he is being questioned by the authorities,” Singh said.
Two AK-47 rifles along with some magazines, grenade and ammunition were recovered from the terrorists and a case has been registered at Chenani Police Station. “Further investigation of the case is in progress,” he said.
Naved told police that he was a member of LeT. “We are confident that interrogation of the apprehended terrorist will reveal their modus operandi, including the details of their infiltration from across the border and their targets.
Expressing condolences to the families of the two BSF troopers killed, he said besides ex-gratia compensation and jobs to their families, “we will also consider them and others, who displayed courage during the incident, for the Gallantry Medal.”
He lauded the efforts of Chirdi’s villagers who risked their lives to overpower the militant.
“We will take up the matter with the state government for suitably recognizing their conspicuous act of valor,” he said.
Fact-sheet on terror suspect sought
Islamabad has asked New Delhi to share ‘necessary information’ in order to verify the nationality of Mohammad Naveed Yakub alias Usman Khan of Faisalabad, Pakistan, Express Tribune reports.
At his weekly news briefing Thursday, Qazi Khalilullah, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO), said he had seen media reports of the man arrested in India being projected as a Pakistani national.
“I will not comment on media reports. [But] we expect Indian authorities to share necessary information about him with us to enable verification of his national status,” he said.
Qazi made it clear that Pakistan had several times affirmed that terrorism was a common enemy and that a cooperative approach, rather than a blame game, is needed to combat the menace. “Pointing fingers without investigations and evidence is not a healthy trend on the part of Indian media,” he said.