Saturday, December 06, 2008


The Guardian, UK
Revealed: home of Mumbai's gunman in Pakistan village
Since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai 10 days ago, speculation has been rife about the birthplace of the lone surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab. India and Pakistan have clashed over reports that he came from the Punjab. Saeed Shah, after spending days travelling throughout the region, tracked down the killer's home - and his grandfather - and found conclusive proof of his identity.

Finally one villager confirmed what was going on: 'You're being given misinformation. We've all known from the first day [of the news of the terrorist attack] that it was him, Ajmal Amir Kasab. His mother started crying when she saw his picture on the television.'....

The authorities may now attempt to deny that Ajmal's parents live in Faridkot, but, according to some locals, they have been there for some 20 years. But by the end of our visit, a crucial piece of evidence had been gained. The Observer has managed to obtain an electoral roll for Faridkot, which falls under union council number 5, tehsil (area) Depalpur, district Okara. The list of 478 registered voters shows a 'Mohammed Amir', married to Noor Elahi, living in Faridkot. Amir's national identity card number is given as 3530121767339, and Noor's is 3530157035058.

That appears to be the last piece of the jigsaw. A man called Amir and his wife, Noor, do live in Faridkot, official records show. They have a son called Ajmal.

Following our last visit to Faridkot, the mayor, Wattoo, announced via the loudspeaker at the mosque that no one was to speak to any outsiders. By yesterday, Pakistani intelligence officials had descended in force on Faridkot. Locals, speaking by telephone, said a Pakistani TV crew and an American journalist had been roughed up and run out of town. It appeared that the backlash had begun.