Admiral Bashir does a volte face, agrees with Pak Interior Ministry’s report

india,pak flagKarachi/Kochi, Feb. 28 : Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir, on Saturday back tracked on a statement he made on Friday, saying he agreed with the Interior Ministry's report on the Mumbai terror attack.

"We have not been directly involved in the investigation, which is under the domain of the interior ministry. Therefore, they are better equipped, they have better knowledge and information," Admiral Bashir said.

On Friday, Bashir had categorically ruled out laying the blame for the terror strikes on the Pakistan Navy or the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), and added that the ten terrorists, including lone survivor Ajmal Amir Kasab, did not use the sea route from Pakistan to India to carry out their mission.

"There is no possibility of the sea route used by the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks. We have consistent surveillance on maritime border," he had said.

He had also claimed that the 26/11 was an indication of the failure of the Indian Navy.

Admiral Bashir's statement was a clear contradiction of the statement issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik, who had said that the sea route was used by the terrorists to enter Mumbai from Karachi.

On Saturday, Defence Minister A. K. Antony and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, strongly rebutted Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Noman Bashir's contention that the perpetrators of the November 26, 2008 terror attack on Mumbai did not use the sea route from Pakistan to reach India's financial capital.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark the keeling of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, Antony told ANI: "After 26/11, our investigating agencies carried out thorough investigations and came out with results that indicated that the terrorists used the sea route to attack Mumbai."

In his response, Admiral Mehta said: "Whatever the Pakistan Navy Chief has said in Urdu means that the terrorists could have used another route, and not the sea route via Pakistan. But the
(Indian) investigative agencies have produced an excellent document and chargesheet, which brings out that the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage used the sea route (from Pakistan) to attack Mumbai." (ANI)