$10 million reward: Islamabad seeks ‘evidence’ as Hafiz Saeed mocks US bounty

Published: April 5, 2012

Hafiz Saeed smiles after a defiant public appearance mocking his $10 million bounty. PHOTO AFP

ISLAMABAD / WASHINGTON: In its first official reaction to the $10 million US bounty on Jamaatud Dawa founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Pakistan on Wednesday said it would ‘prefer concrete evidence’ against the man than to engage in a public discussion on the matter.

“In a democratic country like Pakistan, where the judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit in a statement.

US reaction

The US State Department, meanwhile, seemingly indulged in damage-control as the legitimacy of announcing a bounty on a man who openly taunted the US came into question.

“He [Hafiz Saeed] is free to do that, unfortunately, up to this moment. But we hope to put him behind bars,” spokesperson Mark Toner said when asked about Saeed’s public appearance at a public function in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

Toner sought to clarify the US reward, saying that Washington was offering money not for his capture but for information that would allow his prosecution in a court in the United States or elsewhere.

“We all know where he is — you know, every journalist in Pakistan and in the region knows how to find him – but we’re looking for information that can be usable to convict him in a court of law,” Toner said.

He denied that the United States was trying to make new demands of authorities in Pakistan, which is completing a review aimed at resetting relations with Washington after months of crisis between the war partners.

“It’s not to put pressure on any one government. But we wanted to be able to provide Pakistan with the tools that they need to prosecute this individual,” Toner said.

Defiant appearance

Earlier, Hafiz Saeed in a defiant public appearance goaded the United States on Wednesday, mocking his $10 million US bounty.

The 62-year-old former engineering and Arabic professor appeared on stage at a specially-convened Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) press conference at the Flashman Hotel in Rawalpindi.

Saeed said he was ready to face “any American court” to answer charges.

“If the United States wants to contact me, I am present, they can contact me. I am also ready to face any American court, or wherever there is proof against me,” he told reporters.

Saeed, who makes regular public appearances in Pakistan, mocked the idea of offering a bounty for someone who lives so openly.

“Americans seriously lack information. Don’t they know where I go and where I live and what I do?” he said.

“These rewards are usually announced for people who are hiding in mountains or caves. I wish the Americans would give this reward money to me.”

Saeed went on to add that the DPC had written letters to the federal government and parliament while efforts were underway to address their concerns to US authorities in Islamabad.

President’s trip to India

Meanwhile, members of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) urged the federal government and parliament to respond to the US bounty on Saeed and even advised President Asif Ali Zardari to cancel his planned visit to India on April 8, saying the US decision had been simply made to gratify India.

Members of the DPC, including its chairman Maulana Samiul Haq condemned the muted response of the Pakistani government, adding that the DPC would observe a black day on Friday to condemn the US decision.

Links to Osama bin Laden

Meanwhile, a former American intelligence official has claimed that the US bounty on Hafiz Saeed was placed after the US obtained evidence that he had been in close contact with Osama bin Laden, planning terrorist attacks, The Telegraph reported.

Documents found by US special forces at Bin Laden’s final hideaway in Abbottabad last year apparently linked Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), with the al-Qaeda leader.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and advisor to Barack Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan told The Daily Telegraph that the evidence showed Bin Laden played a key role in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“OBL communicated with Saeed and others via courier. He practised very good opsec [operations security]. The two had a long-standing relationship going back to the creation of LeT in the 1980s,” he said.

“OBL provided some of the seed money to start the group,” Riedel added. (With additional input from Agencies)

(Read: Emperor Nero and the US)

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Apr 5, 2012 - 6:41AM

    All the evidence needed to serve an international arrest warrant has been there since one was issued in December, 2008. Two trials provide testimony as to Saeed’s involvement. What is his alleged crime? That he inspired and financially supported international terrorist acts, as outlawed by binding post-9/11 U.N. Security Council Resolutions. What does Pakistan have to say about it? That despite Pakistan signing pledges to adhere to international law plotting terrorist attacks against another state somehow isn’t a crime in Pakistan, at least not one that the State will enforce.

    Insisting now on “evidence” is a time-wasting measure designed to set back the clock for years. It’s an excuse. Where are the Pakistanis who are willing to stand against terrorism and a morally corrupted Pakistani state?

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  • blithe
    Apr 5, 2012 - 6:41AM

    US needs to now do damage control and give clarifications.

    What a pathetic joke! The role US is playing is that of a fool in
    in Shakespearean plays…

    Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2012 - 6:47AM

    Imperialists are becoming the laughing stock of the world. Chavez mocks them, Ahmedinijad mock them, Chinese students mock them, Hillary chased out of Imperialist conference, Sarkozy had to hide from French people.

    Recommend

  • plaintalk
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:01AM

    would someone put bounty on Obama for the killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to be tried in the ICJ?

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  • Apr 5, 2012 - 7:07AM

    Its funny how can USA announce a bounty fro a person who is living so openly, well Hafiz Saeed rightly said, but the fact that what USA officials are saying seems not concrete, they are offering bounty for the information? seems really funny because this will be the first time someone giving reward for founding evidence. Well, USA should review again what they said before.

    http://syedowais.blogspot.com/2012/04/only-10-million-bounty-hafiz-is.html

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  • Attif abbas
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:22AM

    Don’t mock them,beware of zardari.

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  • Arindom
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:30AM

    “In a democratic country like
    Pakistan, where the judiciary is
    independent, evidence against anyone
    must withstand judicial scrutiny,”

    What a JOKE !! – you guys hang Prime Ministers, or send people off to secret detention camps of the CIA —- when it suits you —– you even have lawyers showering petals on killer like Qadri…..You never find evidence against people conducting suicide blasts……nor kidnapping

    Please don’t talk of ‘evidence’ and such legal niceties — it makes the world laugh….

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  • Raj
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:32AM

    “In a democratic country like Pakistan, where the judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny,” Pakistan should provide evidence that above statement is true. If it is true then Pakistan government should let Prime Minister ZAB rest in preace.

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  • Pragmatist
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:47AM

    Hafiz should lie low for a while and not make too many brave noises. He won’t know what hit him. When you get your name on the US “Most Wanted” list, you are doomed. The one question is when.
    But I saw him on a couple of interviews and he seemed nervous when asked if JuD will continue in case he gets nailed by the Americans. His body-language suddenly changed although he continued to make courageous noises.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:51AM

    Let me know if anyone knows Hafiz Saeed’s location. I’ll be willing to split the prize money.

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  • Omer
    Apr 5, 2012 - 7:54AM

    Another US blunder….this time to appease India and make a case against Pakistan…remember Balochistan pressure from USA/Israel/India nexus……..9/11….lol

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:11AM

    The bounty itself was for any incriminating evidence against Hafiz Saeed and Pak is asking for evidence for seeking evidence against him?

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  • pakistanibaloch
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:21AM

    *love this man .GOD bless him *

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  • uzair
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:28AM

    salam
    Hafiz saeed and jamat ul dawa is best Islamic jamat in Pakistan and Hafiz sub is best person. .plzzzzzzzzz i have to invite all of those which wrote the comments plzzz search the all information about jamat ul dawa then comment about that .plzzzzzzzzz do not sport America and Indian lobe about Islam and Pakistan. at least we are Muslims.jazakumullah khair

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  • Faesal
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:39AM

    Deep respect for Hafiz Saeed. He has literally owned US
    US is desperate, their frustration is laugh worthy

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  • theeha
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:47AM

    don’t need any evidence, as pakistan is a failed country and terrorist hub.

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  • Alam siddiqui
    Apr 5, 2012 - 8:56AM

    Provide evidence for what? By supporting every bearded mullah and Islamic terrorist we are becoming the laughing stock of the world! It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the joke is on us. Especially the poor hardworking Pakistanis who want to get the religious bigots off their neck.

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  • Abbas
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:08AM

    This was the way Saddam laughed and OBL laughed…..one ended up in rats hole and picked like a rat …the other was shot in head and buried in sea. Hafeez countdown as started……

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  • Optimistic
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Well, well, well…..since when did US start to act like india. Cheap gestures indicate US gone crazy for sure. Latest version of pacifier in the market to pacify baby india. BUT nothing to gain except wasted trillions of dollars.

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  • khan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:44AM

    time of this traitor and shameful citizen of this country is numbered. The early this guy is put behind bars, or put to rest, is better for this country. Which lawyer in his right sense will fight efficiently in this country against these dangerous people? Who is checking whether all the evidences submitted against him is presented in the right context, at right time, according to right law article in court? Its not the fault of law that these traitors are not punished, but its the system, the lawyers, the establishment which doesnt make this happen.

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  • MarkH
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @blithe:
    They don’t need to do any such thing. Nobody was dumb enough to think there would be a pleasant reaction from Pakistan and that’s also the exact reason a bounty was placed rather than consulting Pakistan again. Furthermore, chances are, the ones who are crying about it are not anyone that would assist anyone in it. There’s no point.

    You and your parliament overestimate their importance in the bigger picture. Nobody seems to realize Pakistan historically suffers from foot in mouth disease as well.

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  • jock
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @blithe:

    Well God give them wisdom that have it, and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
    (The Bard, Twelfth Night). The word ‘talent’ actually meant cash back then !!!

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  • Maher
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:51AM

    “In a democratic country like Pakistan, where the judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny,”

    This made me LAUGH :)

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  • Pragmatist
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:59AM

    @Omer: “Another US blunder…”
    Yep, Mr.Omer, the whole world ‘blunders’ while Pakistan is the only nation that treads the straight and narrow path. Reading all your comments, one would think that India and the US are standing in line for Pakistani aid. It is support for such people that has brought Pakistan to the brink. Killing a few hundred innocent women and children is not the way to get nations to bend. It only riles them to hit back – much, much harder.

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  • r p
    Apr 5, 2012 - 10:10AM

    paksitan has two choices one he arrests Hafiz another accept it as a terrorist state
    what he chooses will decide the future of Pakistan

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  • A
    Apr 5, 2012 - 10:18AM

    If anyone can analyze the current news then he can simply predict that all this happening is persuade Pakistan to open NATO supplies. Why are they putting a bounty on him now? Mumbai attacks had happened ages ago.

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  • akash
    Apr 5, 2012 - 10:41AM

    @Pakistanbaloch, @Faesal — so you guys love terrorists and murderers !! Well done.
    Pakistan does not need India as enemy when they have model citizens like you and terrorists like Hafiz.
    The country is a joke!

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Apr 5, 2012 - 10:48AM

    We as a nation must realise that for a progressive Pakistan we must close the chapter on ‘Terrorism supporting Mullahs’. Hafiz Saeed is one of them. This country is doomed, both economically and security wise by assisting such dark personalities who talk about Jihad with India or US. They live in the dark middle ages and want to drag the rest of us into the abysmal depths of those times. What has the so called Al Qaeda’s ‘Jihad’ achieved in fighting the US? nothing but the destruction of a whole nation. Our leaders across all political divide must state with crystal clear resolve that our strategic interests lie with the friendship with India, improving the security in our beloved country all over including Waziristan and Balochistan and curtailing the ‘Mullahism’ in Pakistan. Without this we are fast heading towards an anarchist naton of Somalia or perhaps more like our neighbour Afghanistan. We don’t feel any pride in this feeling.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 5, 2012 - 10:58AM

    @Optimistic:

    This will end badly and it will not be either India or the US that suffers.

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  • KAMRAN
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Jamat ul dawa , and lashkar e taiyyaba are the deaths of millitants against Islam !!!! live long pakistan and Hafiz Sahb :)))

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  • Realist
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:14AM

    @akash:

    What did you expect? The two countries have fought wars with each other and continuously try to bleed the other to death. Of course we Pakistanis love those people who are enemies of our enemies. And besides Hafiz Saeed and JUD has never done any terrorist act in Pakistan. But they hate India with every fiber of their bone and so we love them for it. No matter what you say, it does not make a difference to us.

    And besides our courts found nothing against him. So all you so called liberal Pakistanis, go jump off a cliff. If a man carries out extra judicial justice based on what he thinks is right, you get all upset about it and when the court decides against your ideas, you get upset. Just what do you guys want? You so called liberals are like children who cry whenever mommy and daddy don’t agree with you on whatever you want. Get a life!

    GOD BLESS HAFIZ SAEED AND JUD!

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  • Peace
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Americans have no evidence against Hafi sb and they are putting bounty on his head this is a proof that americans are murderers of innocent people. this realy forced me to think abt the judicial system of america which i initially thought was good and dispense justice on evidences but i was wrong, they only want to kill people who oppose them wether they have evidence against him or not. Is America a civilized nation? can anyone give me answer

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  • Hammad
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:21AM

    @ Akash: And the next wanna be prime minister of the ‘heaven’ where you live is Narindra Modhi. As if we don’t know of his role in peace he intends bringing to the whole world. Gujrat style. Huh

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  • Amit
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:42AM

    There is a Muslim passenger in a taxi . Hme asks the taxi-driver to turn off the radio
    He explains that he must not hear music as decreed by his religion , for in the time of the prophet, there was no music … no radio…….

    So the driver turns off the radio, stops the car , leans over and opens the back door.
    The Arab asks him : “What are you doing?”
    The driver replied : “In the time of the prophet there were no taxis, so get out my car and wait for a camel”

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  • Faesal
    Apr 5, 2012 - 12:15PM

    @akash:
    We are lucky to survive the bollocks which your media and government feeds you. Call him whatever, but those who know him from person can tell easily a lie from truth. Its not our problem if you have been fed the lie. Good luck

    I reserve my opinion

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  • Shah Rukh Khan (h/o Gowri Khan)
    Apr 5, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Hafiz is history one way or another. His days of preaching violence and hatred behind the garb of a “charity” organization is over. You can’t thumb your nose at Uncle Sam and live to tell the tale. Men more insidious than Hafiz have discovered that from inside a 3-by-6 foot box deep inside the ground. Mr.Hafiz, enjoy life – or whatever that is left of it to your heart’s content. Fill your heart with love and see what you are missing.

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  • Apr 5, 2012 - 12:28PM

    alah apnay hifz wo aman may rakhay ameen dua go

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  • Saadia
    Apr 5, 2012 - 12:37PM

    As usual Americans have no evidence against anything but they always create fake evidences. If they want to catch terrorists then please put a bounty on CIA as they are the biggest terrorist organization in the whole world. If they get arrested whole world will be in peace. BTW Hillary you became too sexy to catch Hafiz, we can see that its India’s money talking. I wish at least not as a politician but as a woman you have some integrity and follow the clean path and stand against all lies of US to invade Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq etc etc but no again you put the name of women in dung. I hope one day you will get some life though.

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  • Haidar Ali
    Apr 5, 2012 - 12:52PM

    HAfiz Saeed is Great man ..He is only man who fighting against India at all sectors..Musim world respect Hafiz Saeed’s Courage and Bravery ..we strongly support him and try to follow his Courage……He is so simple but so strong …just check his voice directly reach washington…
    Love you Hafiz Saeed and keep fighting ..All Muslim Umah Praying for your Long life ..
    but only so called Moderns or Liberals will be happy ..they are same like Meer jafar..HIstory never bother about them ..

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  • Nasir Jan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:14PM

    In a “democratic country like pakistan” are you kidding me. Can someone please look up those words in the dictionary and tell me how it applies to the millions of ordinary citizens of Pakistan or the Ahmadis or just about anyone else!
    We need to stop trying to pretend we are a democracy

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  • Jan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:21PM

    @theeha:
    The most stupid comment so far from an indian… grow up…Recommend

  • vasan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:30PM

    Why would Islamabad seek evidence??. Isnt that wanted by US as well. I guess it is elementary. Recommend

  • reasonable
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:48PM

    Hafeez Sab times up! It is just a warning to Pak government because Pakistan complained when OBL was taken out, Its just a matter of Drone or Seals. It wont matter to them what Pakistan thinks.

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  • Another Baloch
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:51PM

    @Maher:
    Keep laughing.. its good for your health

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  • Democrat
    Apr 5, 2012 - 3:02PM

    so in the end US wants to buy some evidence or what? are they bribing? and re-read the statment you all liberals… i say we should put a bounty on sonia gandhi because she was responsible for killing of akbar bugti and anyone who can provide us with this evidence to catch her would be awarded the bounty..does it make any sense to you? for God sake.. how you can find a person guilty without a trial and evidence? first you have evidence, then there is a fair trial and then the jury announce the verdict and if the person is guilty, he/she is punished..at least that is what the civilized society would do..but america wants to first execute the person, then announce a bounty to find some evidence to incriminate the dead man and then start the trial for which death penalty has already been awarded! this is called justice US style… what about the US man who killed 16 people the other week in afghanistan? does the US tries him as well? grow up you India… US is just using you as a market..not as a nation…come on… a made in pakistan shaving cream is no evidence for a terrorist attack… in this age of global village, one can find made in everywhere products in any country… and why would the attackers carry their own shaving cream with them to the attack site? come on… that is worse than the worst soap of star plus..

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  • Democrat
    Apr 5, 2012 - 3:05PM

    and as an afterthought, i ask the Indian “intelligence” agency to please give the hard solid evidence you have to US and claim the 10 million bounty as well and the US courts will convict Hafiz Saeed? what you say?

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  • john smith from up west
    Apr 5, 2012 - 3:05PM

    this guy makes me laugh luv him hate him he stuck two fingers at usa his comment they should pay him the bounty hes mocking had me in stitches while ppp fo is distancing itself passing the buck on two the sc shame on u

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  • akash
    Apr 5, 2012 - 3:21PM

    @faesal .. well our lies are supported by world.. Pakistan’s truth are laughed up on.
    @hammad.. Modi is wanna be pm only with section of media.let’s not forget it was majority who fought and still fighting for the rights of minority in India
    @Realist.. well atleast even if u fight with enemies there is some rule… you ddont kill innocents even in war.ofcourse we know u won’t find any evidence.by the way all 4.wars were creation of Ur much loved army.

    Continue Ur merry ride guys.. just read that there another blast in Pakistan.. those who did their ideology is not much different from hafiz.Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Apr 5, 2012 - 3:26PM

    They have no evidence….whoopee! man this is funny

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  • Owais Ehsan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 5:10PM

    why are so many Indians here ? they dont allow you to write on your own news sites???
    Anyways , anyone who is following news (not your typical NDtv, Fox garbage) would clearly know that its a ploy to push Pakistan to open the Nato supply lines.

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  • Faesal
    Apr 5, 2012 - 5:22PM

    @akash:
    your lies are only supported by US for their own interests.Recommend

  • Jan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 6:08PM

    @Roflcopter:

    It is funny alright.. even your masters have said that there is no concrete evidence…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9188337/US-admits-it-lacks-evidence-to-convict-10m-Hafiz-Saeed.html

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  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:29AM

    @Solomon2

    If that is SO CONCRETE EVIDENCE, than why on earth USA is offering money for evidence. Shouldn’t they give it to India who has all the evidence against him?
    And here this spokesperson Mark Toner is saying that there is NO concrete evidence, just some reports !
    Think before you speak !
    It was a lollypop for Indians, ahaha

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  • LogicNeeded
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:24AM

    @Peace: India has more than sufficient evidence to convict Saeed in Indian court of law, US has sufficient evidence to prosecute Saeed in US court of law, but neither has him in custody or any way to extradite him to their country.
    Pakistan state disregards all that evidence and declares him innocent by making weak case against him. So the bounty money is for any Pakistani to bring forward any more obvious evidence that Pakistan’s state can not deny.
    People of Pakistan don’t realize that when a Pakistani court acquits Saeed, they are not giving him a certificate that he did in innocent, it only means that the evidence presented to the court by pakistani state is insufficient to judge him guilty.
    So the bounty by USA is admission by USA that they know Pakistani state deliberately shields terrorists.

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  • Pakistani
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:23AM

    @LogicNeeded:
    Please read the link given by Jan above. What planet are you living in???

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  • Democrat
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:23AM

    @Logic Needed…

    this is breaking news from you that US has sufficient proof to indict him.. i thought until now the US govt is saying he did not violate any US law and there is no case against him in any US courts… and even if we believe your logic that pak state does not put ample evidence against him in pakistani courts then what is stopping US or Indian govt to do so? they should present their evidence in Paksitani courts and we will see if a made in pakistan shaving cream is enough to convict any one or not… :)

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  • Indian
    Apr 6, 2012 - 12:30PM

    $10 million reward: Islamabad seeks ‘evidence’ as Hafiz Saeed mocks US bounty
    Point to be noted is Osama Bin Laden also ‘Mocked’ the US…..

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  • Salman Sheikh
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:05PM

    Osama is became a myth… Whenever they want to topple anyone claimed its link with Osama.. before 9/11 no general public in Pakistan knows about him or what he does.

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