A U.S. citizen convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks told an Indian court on Thursday that the Pakistani intelligence service ISI paid him directly for reconnaissance of target for the 26/11 attacks (CNN-IBN). In his testimony given through video link from the United States, Headley claimed that he was given one hundred thousand Pakistani rupees to scout National Defence College, Chabad House, and other places in Mumbai. Last month, Headley also told the court that he had visited India seven times prior to the attack, on behalf of the banned Pakistani militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to gather information scouting potential target locations in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. Headley, 52, was captured in 2013 in the United States and plead guilty to charges of working with LeT and his involvement in the attacks, to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India. The November 2008 attacks in Mumbai were a coordinated set of strikes on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural center, and claimed 166 lives along with nine attackers.
PDP and BJP alliance government to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir
The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) announced on Friday that it will continue its support to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir, and nominated Nirmal Singh to be the deputy chief minister in the state (Hindu, IBT). The PDP-BJP coalition came to power in 2014, but earlier this year PDP Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed died at the age of 79. The state has been under governor rule since Jan. 8 and talks between PDP and BJP regarding the coalition have broken down a number of times over the past few weeks. But after a meeting last week between Sayeed’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti and Prime Minister Modi, the PDP on Thursday announced Mehbooba Mufti as the chief ministerial candidate.
— Shuja Malik
Pakistan arrests purported Indian intelligence officer
On Friday, Pakistani officials announced that they arrested an Indian intelligence officer in Balochistan (AP, ET, Dawn). Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry alleged that the man was involved in violence and lodged a complaint with India. A spokesperson for the ministry commented, “Kul Yadav Bhoshan, a commander-ranked officer in Indian Navy was working for RAW and was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fueling sectarian violence in Pakistan and Balochistan.”
Pakistan debuts Chinese helicopter
On Wednesday, during a military parade for Pakistan Day, Pakistan debuted its acquisition of the Chinese made CAIC Z-10 helicopter gunship as well as its Shaheen III ballistic missile (DefenseNews). The Z-10 gunship had been under evaluation in Pakistan for the past year and reportedly received impressed reviews from the Pakistani military. On Wednesday, Pakistan also announced that the Z-10 was in service.
BY SHUJA MALIK
Find this story at 25 March 2016