New Delhi: India reacted sharply on Monday after Pakistan’s high commissioner Abdul Basit said that “Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has no case against him and he was free to roam (around in Pakistan).”
India pointed out that the designated terrorist was the “evil” mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and it devolved on Pakistan to bring the global terrorist to book and deliver justice.
External affairs ministry spokesman 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 the streets of Mumbai. We have repeatedly asked Pakistan that he should be apprehended and taken through the 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.”
India reacted soon after Mr Basit remarked that “Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national, and 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. The courts have already exonerated him. There is no case pending against him.”
The MEA spokesman added: “99 per cent evidence is in Pakistan because the conspiracy was hatched there.”
The planning for this dastardly act was done in Pakistan.”
Mr Akbaruddin added: “The financing for this act was undertaken in Pakistan and people 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 are brought to book and justice is delivered.”
On the issue of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, a wing of Hafiz Saeed’s JuD, working in close tandem with the Pakistan Army, Mr Basit said: “We all know that on both sides of the Line of Control, there have been devastating floods, killing many, many people on both sides of the LoC. I think in India and Pakistan, all welfare organisations are working hand in hand with the government, so we should look at this positively rather than critically.”
Hafiz Saeed, known for his anti-India tirades and who has been designated as a terrorist by the United States too, had recently accused India of “water terrorism”. He had said at a recent press conference: “On one hand, the Indian government has discharged water in rivers without notification, and has given false information, and on the other, is ironically offering help.” He was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent offer to help Pakistan in the flood crisis.
The Pakistan high commissioner also said that he was not aware of any plans for a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
“As of this moment, I am not aware of any proposal on this (Modi-Sharif meeting),” Mr Basit said here. Mr Modi will be in New York from September 26 to 29, while Mr Sharif is scheduled to be there from September 22 to 27. There will be a small overlap period when both leaders are in New York, but given the current frosty ties between the two sides, a meeting looks unlikely.