ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister Rehman Malik yesterday asked for handing over David Coleman Headley to Pakistan, saying the American citizen was wanted here for acts of sabotage.

Headley, who allegedly helped survey targets for the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, told a special Indian court Tuesday that he worked for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The US national, who was sentenced in 2013 by a Chicago court to 35 years in a US prison for his role in the attacks that killed 166 people, also said that ISI provides financial, military and moral support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen.

While testifying before the Indian court for the second day via video-link from the US, he also claimed that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT Commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who was key man responsible for the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

He alleged the LeT had planned an attack on a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy. “But the plan was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling weapons and personnel and failure to know the schedule of the meet,” he maintained. The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the case, said prior to November 2007 the targets in Mumbai had not been decided.

Addressing a news conference at his residence in Islamabad, Senator Rehman Malik said Headley was a planted man of India who was wanted in Pakistan for various sabotage acts. “They (US authorities) should hand him over to us and we will see how many confessions he makes. India is playing childish games,” he said.

Senator Malik said the government had kept mum over the uncalled-for allegations by Headley and India’s defiance so he – as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior – had to raise a voice.

He said India was using third-degree torture on many detainees to speak against Pakistan. “They (Indians) have been unable to stop their agencies from orchestrating terror acts in Pakistan but expect us to ensure confessions from people of their choice,” he added.

Malik said India should mind its policy as Pakistan was a nuclear power. “They cannot hoodwink us. We are one of the powerful nations of the world. India should play fair,” he remarked.

The former interior minister said India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was supporting terrorism across Pakistan with the blessings of the Indian government.

“They are creating problems for us and ironically blaming us and our agencies of sponsoring terrorism. Our security forces and the government know peace is the best option for us. Our soil is not being used against anybody,” he contended.

Malik said he had sent 48 questions to India when he was the interior minister seeking Headley as he was wanted for terror-links in Pakistan. The questions sought personal and travel details of the alleged terrorist in addition to his meetings with the Indian officials.

Referring to The Nation’s story, Malik said India had refused to accept Pakistani investigators findings on JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar which indicated India wanted ‘targeted investigations.’ “It is for India to provide evidence against the JeM chief. If they can’t prove their case, we can’t take action against someone who is not involved,” he added. The former interior minister said the Pakistan People’s Party will not tolerate baseless allegations against the army and the ISI by India.

“Our forces are fighting terrorists. They have a clean past and have no links with any terror network,” he said.

On the political front, Malik said he had acted against Uzair Baloch as the interior minister. “He (Baloch) has no links with us. We are the ones who acted against him and wanted to interrogate him,” he explained.

He said the PPP does not support anyone who is involved in terrorism or extremism. “We are targets of terrorism ourselves so we cannot back such people. We want across-the-board action against the terrorist,” he added.