India’s betrayal revisited
S M Hali


The mystery still hasn’t been solved

Over a decade after, India and the world are no nearer solving the mystery of who planned and executed the gruesome Mumbai attacks, euphemistically known as 26/11, but India continues to use the gory episode, blaming Pakistan for it and whipping it incessantly with it.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of India’s 9/11, the Mumbai attacks, despite a crescendo of Indian accusations; to help discern facts through a cloak of perfidy, Elías Davídsson’s book The Betrayal of India: Revisiting The 26/11 Evidence provides some insight.

It was a pleasure to meet Elías Davídsson at a seminar on ‘Use of Different Mediums to Generate False Narrative by India” organised by the Centre for Global & Strategic Studies, Islamabad. I also had the opportunity to interview the erudite scholar for a local TV Channel.

The narrative, that India had painstakingly built to blame Pakistan, has been invalidated by the neutral author who proved that it was based on Chanakyan guile and deceit. The Jewish German analyst, Davídsson, has presented an incisive analysis of the official narrative of 26/11, endeavouring to pore through court documents and testimonies of dozens of important witnesses and their linkages with outbursts parroted by Indian media.

The investigative author, taking the judicial principle of Cui Bono (who gains), unravels not only the motivations and the cover-up of the Indian government but also the multifaceted interests of international actors, Israel and the USA. The Mumbai police was rewarded with funds and equipment, while India’s armed forces received an immediate 21 per cent hike in military spending with promises of continuing increases in subsequent years. Most of the defence equipment came from Israel and the USA.

The author presents three definite conclusions: firstly, India’s major institutions are suppressing the truth on 26/11; secondly, India’s judiciary has failed its duty to seek truth and render justice; thirdly, business, political and military circles profited from 26/11, the main beneficiary being the Hindu nationalist constituencies by the “elimination” of Hemant Karkare, “who was on the verge of exposing Hindutva terrorist networks.”

Dr Graeme MacQueen, former Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University in Canada, has carried out a review of Davídsson’s book and finds three recurring themes in his study that may serve to illustrate the strength of the cover-up thesis.

The 14 February 2019 Indian false-flag operation in the shape of the Pulwama attack and subsequent developments, show that India has not learnt its lesson and continues to persist with false-flag operations and using them to denigrate Pakistan

Firstly, “Immediate fingering of the perpetrator”, where Elías Davídsson highlights that when officials claim to know the identity of a perpetrator (individual or group) prior to any serious investigation, this suggests that a false narrative is being initiated and that strenuous efforts will soon be made to implant it in the mind of a population. In the Mumbai case the Prime Minister of India implied, while the attack was still in progress, the perpetrators were from a terrorist group supported by Pakistan.

Likewise, immediately after the attacks, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attempted to implicate Pakistan. Three days prior to the attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, one of the main attack sites, Kissinger, a guest of the hotel, had met with “top executives from Goldman Sachs and India’s Tata group in the Taj to ‘chat about American politics’”.

Secondly, the erudite German scholar points out the grotesque failure by official investigators to follow proper procedures. Davidson depicts numerous failures, starting with “Neither the police, nor the judge charged with trying the sole surviving suspect, made public a timeline of events. Key witnesses were not called to testify. Witnesses who said they saw the terrorists commit violence, or spoke to them, or were in the same room with them, were ignored by the court. One victim was apparently resurrected from the dead when his testimony was essential to the blaming of Pakistan. A second victim died in two different places, while a third died in three places. Eyewitnesses to the crime differed on the clothing and skin colour of the terrorists, and their number. Crime scenes were violated, with bodies hauled off without examination. Identity parades became invalid by weeks of prior exposure of the witnesses to pictures of the suspect in newspapers.

Claims that the terrorists were armed with AK-47s were common, yet forensic study of the attack at the Cama Hospital failed to turn up a single AK-47 bullet. Of the hundreds of witnesses processed by the court in relation to the attacks at the Cafe Leopold, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi-Trident Hotel or Nariman House, not a single one testified to having observed any of the eight accused kill anyone.

Indian authorities declined to order autopsies on the dead at the targeted Jewish centre in Nariman House. The dead, five out of six of whom were Israeli citizens, were instead whisked back to Israel by a Jewish organisation based in Israel, allegedly for religious reasons. The third aspect was to maintain extreme secrecy and the withholding of basic information from the population, with the excuse of “national security”. The surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial, while no transcript of his secret trial has been released. One lawyer who agreed to defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated. CCTV footage was not released; the 800 commandos sent to battle eight terrorists were not allowed to testify in court.

A very important piece of evidence, which Elías Davídsson has presented, is the transcript of the telephonic conversations which the alleged terrorists had with their handlers. Recordings of the conversation were broadcast live by various Indian TV Channels and they were provided by the FBI, a fact not commonly known. Even a cursory glance at the transcript shows that the frivolous conversations between the attackers and their handlers are preposterous. The handler directs the attacker not to drop the hand grenade on his feet. He should remain away from the window lest the security agents shoot him. He is asked if he remembers the prayers he was taught. He must recite them continuously since he is going to be a martyr….and so on.

This scribe inquired of the worthy author that since he had made a forensic examination of the entire evidence and the assault, did Pakistan have a case in taking the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague, since India had levelled very serious allegations of its being responsible for the attack. Davídsson opined that Pakistan had a very strong case and should consider bringing a case of libel against India.

It is interesting to note that India has not refuted the charge sheet presented against it by Davídsson in his book. During a discussion on the subject on an Indian TV Channel, when I quoted Davídsson’s book exposing Indian lies and deceit, the Indian scholars on the panel of discussion tried to browbeat me, saying that Davídsson is a madman, who had been discredited for his views on 9/11 by the US authorities and India does not take him seriously.

The 14 February 2019 Indian false-flag operation in the shape of the Pulwama attack and subsequent developments leading to aerial skirmishes which brought grief to India, show that India has not learnt its lesson and continues to persist with false-flag operations and using them to denigrate Pakistan.

It is high time that Indians should themselves seek the establishment of a National Truth Commission mandated to establish the facts on the attacks of 26 November 2008 rather than blaming Pakistan fallaciously.