Pakistan says no case against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, draws BJP flak
Despite growing clamour in India that Pakistan should bring designated terrorist and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed to justice, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Monday went on record to defend the terrorist who masterminded the brutal 26/11 Mumbai attacks. When asked why Saeed was working alongwith the Pakistan army very close to the line of control, the Pakistan envoy said:
“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.”
“Let us hope that the talks between India & Pakistan resume sooner than later.”
The statement — “what’s wrong with Saeed” — comes from a Pakistan official at a time when Indian intelligence agencies have issued alerts against possible terror attacks across the country by Saeed.
Slamming Pakistan high commissioner’s statement on Saeed, the BJP on Monday asserted that terrorists and dialogue will never co-exist.
“The Pakistan High Commissioner needs to understand that Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind behind 26/11 terror attacks, he is responsible for the deaths of millions of people in India. Just by going out and helping some people in the flood-affected areas (in PoK), he cannot wash away his sins.”
Even the external affairs ministry came forward to slam Pakistan and Basit for making a comment like that. Spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, Syed Akbaruddin said:
“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.”
Asked about Pakistan’s stand that there was not enough evidence to prove his involvement, the MEA spokesperson said, “Almost 99 percent 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. 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.”