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Pak's NSA sacked for comments on Kasab's nationality

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 07, 2009 23:39 IST
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In a bizarre drama, Pakistan's National Security Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani was sacked on Wednesday night for having indicated days ago that Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist arrested for the Mumbai terror attacks, may have been a Pakistani, a fact ironically confirmed by the government earlier in the day.

A brief statement issued by the Prime Minister's House said Yousuf Raza Gilani had sacked Durrani 'for his irresponsible behaviour (of) not taking Prime Minister and other stakeholders into confidence and lack of coordination on matters of national security'.

Gilani was quoted by Geo News channel as saying that he had sacked Durrani for commenting on the issue of the nationality of Iman alias Ajmal Kasab without taking him (Gilani) or the government into confidence.

The premier told the channel that Durrani's 'irresponsible' comments had affected Pakistan's image and went against the government's policies.

The move came soon after Information Minister Sherry Rehman and Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq both told media persons that an investigation by Pakistani security agencies had confirmed that Iman was a Pakistani national.
Rehman also said Pakistan's investigation into the Mumbai attacks was continuing.

Some reports suggested that Durrani's sacking would have to be endorsed by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Talking to CNN-IBN last week, Durrani did not rule out Kasab being a Pakistani national.

'Could be, I am not saying more than that because we don't have -- I hate to say this -- we don't have proof,' Durrani told the channel when asked if some of the Mumbai attackers, including Kasab could be from Pakistan.

Durrani's remarks had come in the backdrop of Pakistan's constant denial that there was any Pakistani link to the Mumbai attacks.

He had, however, said that till then there was no evidence of involvement of Pakistani nationals in the November 26 carnage and that India should let the investigations into the attacks finish first.

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