India has slammed comments by Pakistan that it had no problem with Hafiz Saeed roaming freely in Pakistan, saying it is Islamabad’s responsibility to bring the evil mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks through normal judicial process.
“Our views on Hafiz Saeed are very clear. To us, he is the evil mastermind of the attacks on Mumbai and one of the accused in an Indian court for killings on streets of Mumbai. We have repeatedly asked Pakistan that he should be apprehended and taken through normal judicial process.
“Alas! He has never been arrested on account of 26/11. Therefore… he is only free because he is a Pakistani citizen,” said Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry.
The spokesperson was reacting to comments made by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. “Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national so he is free to roam around. So what is the problem…he is a free citizen so there is no issue as far as Pakistan is concerned. Courts have already exonerated him. There is no case pending against him,” Basit had said, evoking outrage from New Delhi.
Recently, Saeed, who heads the banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawah has been seen actively aiding flood victim in Pakistan.
On September 8, Saeed blamed India for the floods in Pakistan, and accused it of waging “water terrorism”. He tweeted: “Indian gov discharged water in rivers without notification & has given false information; an act of open mischief,” adding, “If India’s Ladakh dam project is completed, even Islamabad will become unsafe. Indian water terrorism is more lethal than its LOC violations.”
When asked about Pakistan’s stand that there was not enough evidence to prove Saeed’s involvement in the 26/11 attacks, Akbaruddin said, “99 per cent evidence in this case is in Pakistan. That is because the entire conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan. The planning for this dastardly act was done in Pakistan.”
He added: “The financing for this act was undertaken in Pakistan and people involved who were involved in this were from Pakistan. Therefore, it has always been our view that it devolves on Pakistan that it ensures that criminals like Hafiz Saeed were brought to book and justice was delivered in the instance of crime in Mumbai.”
The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai killed 166 people. New Delhi has repeatedly asked Islamabad to prosecute Saeed, the chief choreographer of the Mumbai mayhem, and complained against the inordinate delay in the ongoing trial against the 26/11 accused.
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