A senior Indian official has accused Pakistan's main intelligence agency (ISI) of playing a significant role in executing the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The country's Indian Express newspaper quoted Home Secretary GK Pillai as saying that along with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, the ISI was also involved in the attacks right from the start.
At least 166 people were killed in the 2008 Mumbai attacks
Since the Mumbai attacks in 2008, India has accused Pakistan's ISI of aiding the perpetrators. But now in what has been called the most direct accusation yet, a senior Indian official has claimed that the ISI's role in the attacks was not just 'peripheral'.
"They (the ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end," Home Secretary GK Pillai told the Indian express newspaper.
So far Pakistan has categorically denied that the ISI played any role in the Mumbai attacks.
But according to Pillai, as cited in the Indian daily, the ISI's level of involvement had become clear through the recent interrogation of David Headley, the key suspect in the Mumbai attacks.
A courtroom drawing shows David Headley,left, before US District Judge Harry Leinenweber in Chicago
Headley was born to a Pakistani father and an American mother. He was arrested in Chicago last year. He has admitted inspecting the hotels and other sites in Mumbai that were targeted by the militants and has pleaded guilty to working with LeT to plan the attacks.
Pillai's recent comments came as the Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna arrived in Islamabad to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The meeting is to focus on the peace process. Talks between the two neighbors were halted following the Mumbai attacks. Thursday's meeting will be the third major contact between the two countries in six months.
India says it has provided Pakistan with evidence incriminating the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, including LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed. But Islamabad insists there is no clear evidence to put Saeed on trial. A Pakistani court has so far charged seven people in connection with the attacks.
Editor: Grahame Lucas