Mumbai: In a new twist, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today testified before an anti-terror court that the then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had visited his house few weeks after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 to condole the death of his father.
Deposing before the court for the cross-examination on the third day, Headley also said he had nurtured a “hatred feeling” towards India since childhood after his school was bombed in 1971 during the Indo-Pak war.
The 55-year-old Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative-turned approver in the case was being cross-examined by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai siege, via a video-link from the US.
“It is not correct to say that the then Prime Minister of Pakistan–Yousuf Raza Gilani– had attended the funeral of my father who passed away a month after the Mumbai terror attacks on 26th December, 2008. In fact, he (Gilani) visited our house (in Pakistan) a few weeks thereafter,” Headley told special Judge G A Sanap.
To another question, Headley said his father, who was a Director General with Pakistan Radio, knew about his links with LeT but was not happy about it.
Asked whether it is true that his half-brother Daniel knew about his LeT connection, Headley just said that he (Daniel) was not living in the same city (in Pakistan).
Headley, who has been convicted in the US, for his role in the November 2008 attacks, also denied using Daniel’s mobile phone during his visit to Pakistan before the dastardly strikes in Mumbai.He is serving a 35 year jail term in the US.
Stating that he had nurtured a feeling of hatred towards India after his school was bombed during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he said, “People were killed in the attack and that was one of the reasons why I had joined the LeT.”
In reply to a question by the defence lawyer, the LeT terrorist said that he had told his friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana that all the nine 26/11 terrorists should be awarded Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan’s highest gallantry awards.
Rana was tried and acquitted by a US Court in the 26/11 case.
Headley also told the court that he had no knowledge of any women cell and suicide bomber cell in LeT.
He denied that NIA suggested to him to name Ishrat Jehan (in the case). He also refuted meeting special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and Joint Commissioner of Police Atul Kulkarni in the US before his current deposition.
Headley said it had come to his knowledge from LeT handler Sajid Mir that there had been two failed attacks in 2008 just before the 26/11 terror attacks. .