WASHINGTON: US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner says the $10 million is a "sweetener" for people to come forward and give evidence against Hafiz Saeed. He added that the US was maintaining close contact with India over the issue.
Addressing a press briefing on Thursday, he said that Saeed was basking in the media attention,"he is hiding in plain sight", said the State Department spokesperson.
When asked if the notice would impact President Zardari's upcoming visit to India, in light of groups like Difa-ePakistan Council protesting the visit, Toner said that the US hoped that it would not have an impact, adding that it was a win-win situation, for the US, if Pakistan and India were engaged in dialogue.
When asked if the US was trying to split the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) by placing a bounty on Saeed, the State Department spokesperson said that they were not playing a strategic game and wanted someone to come forward, providing evidence.
He added that it was the US’ conviction that Saeed was responsible for the Mumbai attacks, since in the past the LeT had carried out attacks on the Srinagar Airport, a hotel in Kabul, the Indian Parliament and on a train in India.
Toner mentioned that the US was in close contact with the Indian Government over the Saeed notice.