Indian footprints emerging . . Indian footprints emerging Shakeel Anjum Wednesday,May 25, 2011 ISLAMABAD: The footprints of circumstantial evidence regarding the terrorist attack on the Mehran base clearly show the involvement of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Senior intelligence sources told The News that this was a joint venture, accomplished by RAW certainly with the consent of CIA and a group of al-Qaeda who are being used by the anti- Pakistan lobby. â€œEven at this very initial stage, the agencies engaged in the investigation of the attack have got hold of some concrete indications to prove the involvement of foreign hand in the debacle,â€ one source said. He said that it could easily be calculated who was the prime beneficiary of the shattering strike. â€œThe militants attacked the base and mainly targeted the P-3C Orion aircraft as they had instructions to destroy them,â€ he said, adding that it was on record that India had opposed the US provision of these aircraft to Pakistan. Another source said that the only major beneficiary of the annihilation of these planes was India as Pakistan has been deprived of one of its major assets.â€œIt cannot be ascertained yet at this early stage whether Indian commandos were included in the attack squad or the terrorists were Chechens or Afghan activists of al-Qaeda,â€ the source said. â€œHowever, intelligence agencies have enough information that a group of al-Qaeda and Taliban got training in a base camp of RAW in Afghanistan from the Indian forces.â€ The source said that the agencies had informed the government about the joint activities of al- Qaeda and Indian forces in the base camp. It will be established soon that the plan of the attack was prepared in the RAW base camp in Afghanistan, he said. Dr Usman, one of the GHQ attackers, who was arrested during the counter operation, had disclosed during the investigation about his links with the Indian camp, the source said. On October 10, 2009, terrorists had attacked the Pakistan Armyâ€™s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in a similar fashion, taking 42 people hostage, including several military officers. By the end of the day-long ordeal, nine gunmen, 11 soldiers and three hostages were dead. The attackers had their own communication system with separate frequency through which they were interlinked with each other, the source said. Why the attack group fought a pitched battle for 16 hours against the commandos and Rangers, the source said there were standing instructions for the personnel engaged in the operation to arrest at least one of the attackers alive. However, as the Pakistani forces trapped the attackers, they blew themselves up or shot themselves.â€ â€œThey attackers were four in number, not six,â€ the source said and added that it was a wrong perception that two militants managed to escape from the airbase compound. He said that the compound was securely cordoned off.