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Pakistan needs political will to try Hafiz Saeed: India

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday dismissed Pakistan’s demand for concrete evidence against Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, saying Islamabad has everything needed to prosecute the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai carnage.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup was quoted as saying that India would not go by the claims or statements made by Pakistan about the steps taken to check terrorism but by what happened on the ground.

“Entire conspiracy for the Mumbai attack was hatched in Pakistan. All the terrorists came from Pakistan. All the planning was done in Pakistan. All the support was rendered by Pakistan. So, all the evidence to implicate the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack is already available in Pakistan,” Mr Swarup was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying.

“In fact, Hafiz Saeed has himself confessed to masterminding multiple terrorist attacks directed at India,” he said.

“So the concrete evidence that Pakistan establishment is looking for is already available in Pakistan. All they need to find is requisite political will,” Mr Swarup said.

There was no independent confirmation of India’s claim that Hafiz Saeed had confessed to his role in the Mumbai attack.

Mr Swarup was asked about the statement by Pakistan’s interior ministry that “if indeed India is serious about its allegations, it should come up with concrete evidence against Hafiz Saeed which is sustainable in court of law in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere in the world” and told that mere casting aspersions and levelling allegations without any corroborating evidence would not help.

Hafiz Saeed and four other JuD leaders — Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz — were put under house arrest after an order was issued by the Punjab home ministry on Monday in pursuance to a directive issued by the federal interior ministry on Jan 27, the PTI said.

On the recent release of Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan and if this indicated softening of Pakistan’s stand that could lead to resumption of bilateral dialogue, Mr Swarup said India welcomed the steps taken by Pakistan on humanitarian matters.

“We have consistently maintained that a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is only possible in an atmosphere free of terror and violence. Any credible steps in that direction will certainly be welcomed by India,” he said.

He added, “We will not go by their (Pakistan’s) claims and statements. We will go by what we will see on the ground. At the end of the day, that is what matters.”

courtesy : dawn news



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