Pakistan strongly rejected on Friday India’s claim that it had handed over all evidence linking Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed with the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
“There is nothing concrete and maintainable from its own Mumbai trial experience,” said Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit.
He was reacting to a statement by Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna that New Delhi had provided Islamabad all evidence related to the JuD chief, on whom the US recently announced a $10 million bounty.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, meanwhile, said that the issue of Hafiz Saeed is an ‘internal matter of Pakistan’. “We have bilateral relations with India and the US and if they have strong evidence against Saeed, they should give it to us. Our judiciary is independent and will decide further,” he told journalists in Hyderabad.
Krishna told reporters in Bangalore that Pakistan should initiate legal action against Saeed for allegedly being behind the Mumbai attacks.
Asked about Gilani’s statement, Krishna said, “...no denial can exonerate them (Pakistan) unless there is a judicial enquiry so responsible, but unfortunately the Pakistan government has not felt it proper to investigate this.”
Abdul Basit, however, rejected the assertion, saying that ‘overheard statements’ do not qualify as evidence. “India knows well that hearsay cannot substitute for hard evidence. It is only the latter that can withstand judiciary scrutiny,” he emphasised.
Saeed urges donations to fund ‘Jihad’
Enraged by the US bounty announcement, the JuD has seemingly intensified its struggle to mobilise anti-American sentiments by openly calling for a Jihad and collecting funds for it.
Saeed, during his Friday sermon at the JuD headquarters, asked worshippers to contribute both financially and physically.
In a 75-minute fiery sermon, Saeed said he was waging this war to “save Pakistan and Islam against America. The time has come to fight.”
A box was placed at the mosque’s exit and people were asked to donate money: ‘Fighting mujahideen need your money; your support’.
After the sermon, a rally was held at the Lahore Press Club and was attende
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ