Mobile retailers or terrorists?: India confuses Lahore businessmen with militants

Published: May 10, 2012
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This screenshot from India Today shows the news and pictures of three of the five suspected terrorists who had allegedly sneaked into Mumbai. PHOTO: INDIA TODAY SCREENSHOT

This screenshot from India Today shows the news and pictures of three of the five suspected terrorists who had allegedly sneaked into Mumbai. PHOTO: INDIA TODAY SCREENSHOT

Mugshots of the three men released by Indian security agencies to the media on Wednesday. This screenshot from India Today shows the news and pictures of three of the five suspected terrorists who had allegedly sneaked into Mumbai. PHOTO: INDIA TODAY SCREENSHOT

LAHORE: The Mumbai Police released photos of five men belonging to the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) on Wednesday, who had sneaked into the Indian metropolis. Meanwhile, three of suspects identified in the photographs approached a police station in Lahore late on Wednesday, requesting protection.

According to the Times of India, Police and Indian intelligence held a high level meeting after an alert, along with coloured pictures of suspected attackers was issued on Sunday, May 6. Central intelligence agencies had warned that five LeT members, aged between 25-30, had managed to sneak into Mumbai via the sea route. It was believed that the men wanted to attack vital city installations. On Monday, May 7, after police and other security officials met, security was heightened for key Mumbai installations.

A senior police officer who attended police commissioner Arup Patnaik meeting said the central alert states that the five LeT terrorists entered Mumbai a few days ago and are currently hiding here. It also declares that their plan is to “sabotage” key installations close to the coast by “hiring a ferry from the Gateway of India” and “attacking them from the sea”.

Another Indian publication, India Today said that the terrorists planned to target ‘vital installations’.

In Lahore, after seeing their pictures reported by Indian media, three of those identified, businessmen Atif Butt, Mehtab Butt, and security guard Baber Shabbir, approached their local police station to request for protection.

Talking to The Express Tribune, they said that they owned and operated cell phone retail stores in city’s popular electronic market, Hafeez Centre for many years.

Muhammad Fayyaz Butt, the President of shop keepers committee at Hafeez Centre, while condemning the irresponsible actions of Indian media, told The Express Tribune that Atif Butt had been running a mobile phone business under the banner of Sun Mobiles in Shop 25 on the lower ground floor of the Centre. Mehtab Butt had been operating a similar business in Shop26 on the same floor. Baber Shabbir was a security guard at the Centre.

Atif Butt had been running his store for the past 10 years at the centre, while Mehtab Butt had been operating his business for the past 12 years.

Meanwhile, Shabbir said he had been employed as a security guard at the shopping plaza for the past five years. He added that he was too poor to have a passport made, let alone travel to another country.

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Reader Comments (73)

  • m
    May 10, 2012 - 1:49AM

    slap on indian media and their mentality

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  • smj
    May 10, 2012 - 1:49AM

    Indian Media is after our Butts :)

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  • May 10, 2012 - 1:52AM

    free Kasab too, u have got the wrong man even you know that

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 10, 2012 - 1:54AM

    The matter requires a full scale investigations as how did the photographs of all the three people while residing in Lahore went into the hands of Indian Authorities?

    Some one must have passed on all the three photographs to the Indian Authorities to once again malign Pakistan.

    Who was the person who sent these photographs to Indian Authorities?

    It is the job of our law enforcing agencies to find out the truth.

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  • Iqtidar
    May 10, 2012 - 1:54AM

    Waiting for what my Indian friends have to say on this.

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  • John B
    May 10, 2012 - 1:54AM

    Identity theft!

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  • Hazheer Hazara
    May 10, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Now Trolls Should Visit Their Shop.

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  • AB
    May 10, 2012 - 2:02AM

    Indian media is a joke like their dramas…

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  • Hedgefunder
    May 10, 2012 - 2:10AM

    Better safe than sorry, as history is there as witness !

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  • ukmuslim
    May 10, 2012 - 2:12AM

    In Lahore, after seeing their pictures reported by Indian media, three of those identified,…
    so common people like these follow, read or watch indian news. i knew of bollywood and starplus type channels, but never heard of indian news channels.
    suspecting, the terrorists manage to bluff intelligence agencies by slipping false photos.

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  • ....
    May 10, 2012 - 2:27AM

    The Indian newspaper should be sued for unlawful character assassination.

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  • Sky
    May 10, 2012 - 2:28AM

    Shame on you India

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  • Mirza
    May 10, 2012 - 2:30AM

    It is a shame that these kinds of things are happening in this day and age. It is nice to know that the media made it possible to see these people their pictures and appera at local police station. Some heads would roll in India on this blunder.

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  • Batman
    May 10, 2012 - 2:33AM

    Why am I not surprised?

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  • Pungi
    May 10, 2012 - 2:42AM

    Indian intelligence is such a pathetic I didn’t know..!

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  • Roflcopter
    May 10, 2012 - 2:42AM

    Ye tou indian intelligence ka haal hai.

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  • May 10, 2012 - 2:49AM

    what an irresponsible attitude of indian media

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  • Arindom
    May 10, 2012 - 2:52AM

    No worries – better err on the side of caution. At least Indian Intelligence is constantly scanning for terrorists unlike others who support them!!! A few mistakes are bound to happen – but the end result is — very few bombs going off in India as compared to daily occurances in Pakistan

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  • curious
    May 10, 2012 - 2:53AM

    This is what I mean, the Indian Media in particular ALWAYS brainwash the Indian public to believe ANY Pakistani visiting India is a terrorist or would be terrorist so WHY should Pakistan be so nice and give MFN status to India so that they can sell their crap in Pakistan. You don’t just let people walk all over you like that.

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  • Realistic from pashtunkhwa
    May 10, 2012 - 2:55AM

    The presence of these men in Lahore does not necessarily falsify the claims of indian intelligence and media. These men may well belong to the terror outfit LeT, may have actually reached mumbay illegally by sea, may have faltered because of tight security at their would be targets, and may have been directed by their handlers to come back to Lahore, to turn up at the above mentioned police station on the instructions of their handlers, so as to “embarrass” indian media and intelligence.

    Nor does the fact that the men are “mobile phone businessman” and “security guard” mean anything as far as their possibility of becoming terrorists is concerned. Pakistani authorities need to investigate their possible links with LeT.

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  • Qamruddin Ahmed
    May 10, 2012 - 2:58AM

    its Indian news any thing is possible do not mined it.

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  • Tanzil Mallick
    May 10, 2012 - 3:04AM

    On one hand, both countries are inviting businessmen for Fair Trade and on other hand, such cheap stunts makes businessmen to avoid this market where you have no surety of getting disgraced anytime while travelling for Business in each others country…..

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  • indian
    May 10, 2012 - 3:07AM

    indian media is dumbest…..for proof just see indian social media, where media is regularly made fun of……

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  • Dan still
    May 10, 2012 - 3:08AM

    Its the Indian RAW not their media

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  • Blithe
    May 10, 2012 - 3:14AM

    What a massive slap on India’s sensational
    media…

    Hilary Clinton should learn from this incident.

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  • May 10, 2012 - 3:20AM

    How terribly inefficient or a fluke done deliberately as part of their long term plans against Pakistan…….so much for the Aman ki Asha!!!!!!!!!!!!! These are some of the tricks that could play a part to stall economic growth in Pakistan. Such acts will not stop here far as here as far as India is concerned, another Breaking News would follow in near future……..this is their food to keep them going…..this is for India…….watch out for your domestic militants.

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  • Raj NJ
    May 10, 2012 - 3:24AM

    Possibly Identity theft and these naive people will have tough times.

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  • Anil
    May 10, 2012 - 3:25AM

    Oh they won’t comment on this story

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  • aamir
    May 10, 2012 - 3:32AM

    I am happy that our govt is alert enough to raise the alarm though false.. as with pakistan we cannot take chances …

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  • MAS
    May 10, 2012 - 3:39AM

    @Iqtidar: Your and mine Indian friends will not show up today for this news. They just come to lecture us with their usual arrogance on our problems as if nothing wrong happens in India.

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  • rangacharya Kulakarni
    May 10, 2012 - 3:42AM

    I am sorry! I canot find any news paper/Tv channel from India namely Times of India, NDTV. The Hindu. IBN Live reporting this news. Only and only India today’s group publish it. It may be hoax. So, blaming all media is not acceptable. Please donot sensionalize. I also search on Google News. It is not even picking up any news on this issue from any other Indian news paper.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 10, 2012 - 4:00AM

    Doodh ka jala chaach bhi phoonk phoonk ker peeta hai. A similar proverb is: Once bitten, twice shy. Better be safe then sorry. If SRK can get pulled over any Joe average can be on the radar.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 10, 2012 - 4:20AM

    Shameful act on the part of Indian authorities and media both. I wonder how the pictures of these three guys reached the Indian media and the Indian intelligence? There has to be some Pakistanis involved who sent the pictures. Matter needs to investigated properly and mischievous characters need to be identified.

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  • Shanawar Hashmi
    May 10, 2012 - 5:00AM

    Reminds of the time when the US published the photos of the Sep-11 19 hijackers. Some of which turned out to be alive and kicking in the middle east after the fact. The news of their lively existence only remained in mainstream media for a short while though – as with so many of other similar suspicious news. A few years ago another Pakistani national’s photo showed up in a foreign media as a terrorist suspect by “mistake”. India probably wants to jump in the “create fear ‘n hysteria” game challenge as well.

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  • qzj00
    May 10, 2012 - 5:12AM

    @Pungi:

    SHSHHHH . . . this the same RAW that is behind almost every bad thing that happens in Pakistan ;-)

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  • Asad
    May 10, 2012 - 5:15AM

    @Realistic from pashtunkhwa: haha nice try ‘Realistic from pashtunkhwa’ at least have the decency to accept indian media’s mistake. And nice try with the fake name pashtunkhwa lol

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  • May 10, 2012 - 5:18AM

    I don’t understand, dear Bollywood please make a movie about it.

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  • vasan
    May 10, 2012 - 6:01AM

    There are many possibilities
    1. Indian intelligence could have been faulty
    2. The photographs could have been wrong ones.
    3. LeT could have withdrawn their plans at the last minute

    In any case, it is better to be defensive and protect ourselves than give the benefit of doubt to our neighbours,

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  • Arijit Sharma
    May 10, 2012 - 6:03AM

    Better paranoid than dead.

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  • Mansoor Akhtar
    May 10, 2012 - 6:16AM

    One look at the ‘businessmen’ and I can’t say I blame the media.

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  • Imran Con
    May 10, 2012 - 6:41AM

    It’s not like the paranoia isn’t justified.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 10, 2012 - 7:16AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: I think u might be right, to think that it is a goof up is a simplistic conclusion which one must not draw without investigation.

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  • Indi-Pop
    May 10, 2012 - 7:39AM

    According to the screen grab this story was published by India Today website at 8.11pm Indian Standard Time and an illiterate security guard of Lahore who happens to read the India Today website reports to the local police station, the very same night? I am not saying that Indian intelligence agencies didn’t botch up, but this piece of information is also not very easy to digest.

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  • May 10, 2012 - 7:46AM

    All of you calm down. India’s Intelligence agencies and media are incompetent, we admit that too. But, they have never been so incompetent to allow an allied power to launch drone attacks into our Territory and conduct helicopter raids into India.

    So, put things in perspective will you? Since, 2008 not a single major Terrorist attack has taken place in India, who how many have happened in Pakistan?

    Indian agencies are competent enough to ensure people from other Countries come to India to invest, play sports(IPL is a great example) and can just afford to be a tourist visiting a colourful land. Can you claim the same?

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  • May 10, 2012 - 8:01AM

    These men should take legal actions against Indian govt and media. And ask them to pay them money to hurt their reputation.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    May 10, 2012 - 8:19AM

    Perhaps these people are terrorists.

    They have perhaps entered Mumbai, failed in their mission and went back.

    I’m sure, they are enjoying Biriyani with Hafees Saeed as we discuss here.

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  • Silent Observer
    May 10, 2012 - 8:31AM

    This case must be refered to ACP & DAYA of Sony Tv seriel CID. they can make the dead speak!

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  • Shyam
    May 10, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Till you stop terrorists operating from your soil, every Pakistani is a suspect wherever you go

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  • Ashish
    May 10, 2012 - 8:32AM

    It is really comforting to see that Indian intelligence agencies are not sitting on vital info and are actively pursuing the leads, unlike Pakistan where agencies sleep while group of 100 terrorists come and rescue 500 jailbirds unchallenged…Keep it up RAW!!!Recommend

  • Indian
    May 10, 2012 - 8:37AM

    Well this strory is not about media it’s about intelligence failure. Intelligence failure is part and parcel. Intelligence agency should work on this. Still it’s always better to be remain cautious as india has difficult neighborhood. Improvement require in data collection, analysis. This story may have various angles.

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  • GhostRider
    May 10, 2012 - 8:48AM

    Dear Indian trolls

    This is a real story for a movie…make it and watch how India stopped a terriorist attack :)

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  • ayesha_khan
    May 10, 2012 - 9:04AM

    I am not seeing this news anywhere else. Is this an accurate story?

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  • Shyam
    May 10, 2012 - 9:11AM

    I am happy that our security agencies are working hard to secure us even if they goof up sometimes

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  • Jahangir
    May 10, 2012 - 9:26AM

    @Arijit Sharma:Look at your Intelligence and be ashamed instead of coming here and Posting crap on this site.
    @vasan: Go fool someone else. You can do anything and any lies to Please Hillary. Shame on your national character as wwhole. Now, with this False revelation of the Indian Media and of course Intelligence agencies ( because Media has no source of its own) , are very much together to fabricate bundle of lies. This has some similarity with the Samjhota Express Terrorist attack in which PAK was blamed and finally it turned out that the Indian Army’s active Duty RSS Hindu terrorist Sri Kant Prohit planted the Bomb which killed 65 Pakistani Men, women and Children. Afterwards , Hemant Karkare, was also eliminated by the India’s Own internal Agencies because he was going to reveal some big names. Looking at all this, one must never doubt that every terrorist act that happens in India is planned and executed by its own Hindu terrorists blaming on others. Ajmal kasab must be brought to media so that others can ask questions to him directly.It will reveal the India’s Lies about Who he really is. I am pretty sure he has nothing to do with all that mess the Indian RAW planned and executed , called Mumbai 11/26.

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  • Xnain
    May 10, 2012 - 9:28AM

    @Realistic from pashtunkhwa:
    Had it been the story of an indian movie, I would have believed you.

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  • Xnain
    May 10, 2012 - 9:31AM

    @Hedgefunder:
    The “History” hasn’t been able to even prove the true identity of Ajmal. His interview rather served as a blooper than an evidence.

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  • Xnain
    May 10, 2012 - 9:32AM

    @vasan:
    But such “acts” usually (or rather frequently) pop up from India.

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  • o brother where art thou?
    May 10, 2012 - 9:43AM

    …indian media is just as active in maligning Pakistan as Pakistani media is, in doing the same! …we should not be surprised at this “confidence building measure” of the indians. It is the Pakistani media who constantly attack Pakistan’s image and ideology and everytime I can hear a scream from a segment of the people “…you too Brutus?!”

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  • THE
    May 10, 2012 - 12:51PM

    Mrs. Clinton should notice this incident and learn something!

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  • Hedgefunder
    May 10, 2012 - 12:59PM

    @Xnain:
    The “History” hasn’t been able to even prove the true identity of Ajmal. His interview rather served as a blooper than an evidence

    Continue living in denials and see where your Nation ends up in next decade !!!!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    May 10, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Bad, but better than Pakistanis mistaking themselves for Arabs :-)

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  • Hassan
    May 10, 2012 - 3:47PM

    Someone in Rawalpindi is having a laugh at Raw saying how easy it is to plant wrong information :) Its funny

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  • Abdullah Khan
    May 10, 2012 - 5:56PM

    @Realistic from pashtunkhwa:
    What a logic my dear..? While sitting in India using the name of Pashtunkhwa and pretending yourself as Pakistani is much more easier than returning back from Mumbai within hours. These guys are not supermen who could fly back so easily. This is the poor Indian mindset that you people never accept your mistakes. Thats why the second largest populated country is often takes as a funny state.

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  • Abrar R
    May 10, 2012 - 6:58PM

    Its not about being cautious and all. Its not intelligence failure, if this is the kind of intelligence RaW is capable of then this pretty much sums up RaW for us.

    Bharti media is hell bent on feeding its public anti Pakistan stuff.

    If this clarification hadnt come, these three folks would still be terrorists who are in Bharat from the sea and about to god knows what.

    Pakistani media on the other hand has been very responsible comparatively. No news items regarding Bharats interference in Balochistan or Karachi are ever put up .. atleast never with this much hype. Recommend

  • Hella
    May 10, 2012 - 7:04PM

    Well, how did their pictures reach Indian intelligence? Something fishy. Maybe they are who Indian intelligence claims.

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  • Sam
    May 10, 2012 - 8:42PM

    “When Peter talk about Paul, it tells more about Peter than Paul”. Indians exposed, liars. Terrorism spawns from India.

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  • hafeez.indian
    May 10, 2012 - 8:47PM

    Dear All,

    They may be real terrorists. Who knows? Don’t think terrorists can not be Mobile Retailers. Some times Engineers also may be terrorists.

    BTW, many of the Maoists or Naxalites in India are in professions like Teacher, Farmers, Traders etc. Till they are caught red handed and enquired none of the Public believe them as Terrorists.

    So.. Mobile Retailer or Trader can be a terrorist.. Enquire them sincerely, you may get truth..

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  • Shah
    May 11, 2012 - 12:38AM

    @ All the Indian fellows here advocating for paranoia as defence, you are overlooking an important aspect here and that is such paranoia jeopardises lives & reputations of people & countries on the other side. Call me old fashioned but there was a time when official apologies used to be issued after such embarrassments.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 11, 2012 - 7:09AM

    @Shah: U r right an apology is due.

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  • RAW
    May 11, 2012 - 8:25AM

    hahaha…we just checkmated ISI..now they are coming up with the stories of these businessmen..lol a security guard is a businessmen in pakistan.. :P

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  • Ganesh
    May 11, 2012 - 10:27AM

    @m:
    The prob is that in pakistan you never can know who is terrorist and who is ordinary citizen!!!

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  • M Salik
    May 11, 2012 - 4:35PM

    Once again Indian RAW agency has proven itself as a bunch of idiots

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  • ANON
    May 12, 2012 - 3:32PM

    Well Indian media lives on Pak bashing and obviously because it sells. Indians like that and they want to read it. Otherwise why such reports emerge in their media? Always the same. ISI, terrorism, LeT. What else come in their reports when it comes to Pakistan?

    It’s a slap on our media too. Now Pak media please think twice before you come up with another Aman ka tamasha article and learn to live in reality.Recommend

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