Friday, December 19, 2008

Kasabs who? Pak village forgets terrorist's family

IBN - Pakistani and international media reports have linked Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab to the Pakistani village of Faridkot.

However, barely 48 hours after Kasab’s father openly acknowledged him Pakistani officials seem to be in damage control mode. All traces of the Kasab’s ever having lived in Faridkot seem to have disappeared.

“Based on media reports, we investigated and our inquiry has found that there is no such person who lived here,” claims DPO Okara, Bilal Kamiana.

Villagers say Kasab’s parents were spirited away from their Faridkot family home by unknown people a few days ago. The house that supposedly belongs to Ajmal’s father Ameer Kasab is now occupied by an Abdul Ghafoor, who claims to have been living there for the past 20 years.

The local authorities too vouch for that.

“There is no such person in our village,” says Nazim, Union Council Faridkot, Ghulam Mustafa Wattoo.

Earlier this week, Pakistani news channel Geo TV visited the village, and using a hidden camera recorded the footage of village locals talking about Ajmal and his family.

“The butcher came here a few years ago. He has four brothers. One of them works in Lahore. He told his mother he was going for Jihaad and asked her to bless him,” one of the villagers is heard as saying in the footage.

However, when the same news crew revisited, they found the entire village in denial. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, some of them said that Ameer Kasab and his wife Ruqayya have disappeared mysteriously.

Pakistani authorities though have rubbished all reports that Kasab hails from the Pakistani village.

“Yeh hamare baap dadaon ka gaon hai. Yahan se aisa koi dehsatgardi nahin hai (This is my ancestral village. This kind of a terrorist cannot have hailed form here),” says Wattoo.

Some villagers allege the world media is defaming them — a denial that distinctly echoes Islamabad’s claims.