Mumbai and Proofs – II
As I expected, Pakistan has already refused the proofs provided in the dossier from India. The comment came from Salman Bashir, the foreign secretary of Pakistan. I quote from Times of India –
“Within 24 hours of receiving a dossier on the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan has predictably trashed the document. Pakistan foreign secretary Salman Bashir called it “insufficient” and not enough to take action on. “
What were the three “insufficient” proofs? They were basically categorized in three sets –
- Phone intercepts
- Confession statement from Ajmal Kasab
- Materials left by the terrorist team in the boat
The argument against GPS based evicdence is simple – it can be forged. Next the arguments against Confession statements are also very straight – they can be forced confession. So, the last thing remains are the phone intercepts. Some of them are povided by Indian Authorities, the others could be from US Authorities. As the GPS, this also can be forged. Same can be said for the materials retrieved.
This brings me to an important question. What can be a “credible” evidence? The answer is simple. Nothing can be a “credible” evidence. Because the word “credible” involves mutual trust. Since all possible evidences can be forged, so “credibility” of each evidence can always be questioned. The other factor is equally important – the desire to investigate. Everyone knows that Pakistan is lacking in this front – so we can’t expect anything else.
Let me go over GPS and Phone intercepts as proofs. The others can be forged, though no confusion should be there about the identity of Ajmal Kasav (or Kasab) as it is confirmed from four independent resources (Indian Authorities, The Dawn Newspaper of Pakistan, The Geo News Channel of Pakistan, The Observer News Agency of Britain).
I searched cases over the internet and saw a lot of instances where GPS data was used as one of the evidences. For example, a classic speeding ticket can be avoided by providing the GPS data, or the location of the murder (another example) can be confirmed with the same. In an interesting incident,
“In New Brighton, PA, a trucker’s GPS system led police to charge him with setting his own home on fire. GPS records showed his rig was parked about 100 yards from his house at the time of the fire.”
However, the ruling says in one case, only the original recordings can act as evidence, not the description of an agent who saw the GPS data.
“Producing testimony about defendant’s border crossing instead of the GPS data, the court said, was analogous to offering testimony that described security camera footage of an event to prove the event actually occurred rather than introducing the footage itself. This is the type of situation in which the best evidence rule applies, the court said.”
As Indian authorities have the GPS device, recordeings can always be provided along with the device itself. However, neither Pakistan nor India has a past case that accepted GPS data as an evidence, presumably because GPS is not widely used in this part of the world.
The next thing is the Phone intercept. This is widely accepted throughout the world, even as an evidence for extradition under international laws. Ironically, a few days back, Pakistan arrested (another source) one alleged Indian spy (though no official communication is made to India) after tracking his phone.
“Dawn TV identified the Indian citizen as Satish Anand Shukla, of Calcutta, and said he was arrested after a cell phone intercept.”
“The security services intercepted a call from Mehsud on Friday in which he “congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act”, said Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman.”
So, phone intercepts are very much accepted in Pakistan as a “credible” evidence. There can be no question that Pakistan should ignore these. A report from BBC tracks how different countries use the phone intercepts in court as an evidence.
This is not the first time the denial of evidence is coming from Pakistan. Pakistan already denied any involvement of their citizens in 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident. As Daily Times (Pakistan) says :
“A large body of circumstantial evidence accepted by the international community but not accepted by Pakistan, such as the 1999 hijack of an Indian airliner to Kandahar, have not attracted the articles of the Convention.”
Also, we all know that Pakistan reject all evidences of the genocide in Bangladesh during 1971 Freedom fight. The figure of dead in the genocide is only 26,000 by Pakistan, much less than Bangladesh’s claimed 3 million figure. Almost all international news agencies put the figure in between 1-3 million.
Details of the proofs can be read here. They were presented to Pakistan as well as to a part of International media. The media reports say :
“The dossier, along with a power-point presentation made to diplomats here, narrates a journey of zeal, foibles and careful planning, one whose blow-by-blow media coverage was followed by handlers, believed to be in Pakistan, and used to caution the gunmen on the ground about the movement of Indian security forces and motivate them to keep fighting.”
Let’s see how the matter rolls.
The Hindu has published the full dossier.
Headlines Today discusses the intercepts at Nariman House.