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  • Why cordon off Kasab's village? Nawaz Sharif

    Islamabad (PTI): In the midst of flip-flops and cover-up attempts in Pakistan on the identity of Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in Mumbai, former premier Nawaz Sharif has emerged the lone voice against attempts to "cordon off" his village Faridkot and bar media from entering it.

    "It has been said this individual named Ajmal Kasab hails from Faridkot village. I have seen and I personally got this checked the village and its surrounding areas were cordoned off. His parents are not being allowed to meet anyone," he told Geo News in an interview.

    "What was the need to do this? If (Kasab) is not involved (in the Mumbai attacks), then he is not involved. People should be allowed to meet everyone in that area," Sharif said adding "All this points to the fact that we too need to set our house in order."

    Pakistan President Zardari, who had teamed up with Shari to oust Pervez Musharraf from power, had earlier acknowledged that the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage could be 'non-state' actors from Pakistan. He has now said there is still no "real evidence" that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan.

    Sharif questioned the security agencies cordoning off the village of Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the Mumbai terror attacks, and said there is a need for Pakistan to "set its own house in order" in the war against terrorism.

    Kasab has told Indian investigators that he belongs to Faridkot village of Okara district in Pakistan's Punjab province and that he was trained by the Lashker-e-Taiba to carry out the attacks. Iman's father Amir Kasab too had admitted that the gunman in pictures beamed by the world media is his son.

    Sharif said if Iman was not involved in the Mumbai attacks, why was Faridkot village being cordoned off by security agencies and the media prevented from going there.

    If Iman was "involved in any way, despite that his parents should be allowed to speak out and say the boy has been (away from home) for three or four months or one or two years and we are also very worried about him", Sharif said.

    He also asked why people and journalists were being barred from meeting Iman's parents and other residents of Faridkot.

    Pakistani security agencies and local officials in Faridkot have launched an apparent cover-up operation since Indian investigators revealed he belonged to the village.

    Iman's parents have reportedly been shifted from the village and local officials have claimed no youth named Ajmal Kasab had lived in Faridkot.


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