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Pak given enough proof to prosecute Saeed: HM
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 10:43 PM IST
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India Saturday provided Pakistan an additional seven-page dossier of evidence relating to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and underlined that it has given Islamabad enough proof to prosecute Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the carnage. The dossier was handed over the Pakistan high commission Saturday, the external affairs ministry said. Intelligence sources told IANS the dossier also contains transcripts of wireless intercepts during the Mumbai attacks in which Saeed’s name keeps figuring. The fresh evidence, prepared by the home ministry, has been given in response to a dossier given by Pakistan to the Indian high commision in Islamabad July 11. The Pakistani dossier disclosed details of investigations conducted by Islamabad into the Mumbai attacks and the steps taken to punish the guilty. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cited this dossier in parliament Wednesday to explain his move at Sharm el-Sheikh last month to re-start the India-Pakistan engagement at the foreign secretary level. The additional evidence given by India comes close on the heels of a debate in parliament during which the opposition accused the government of diluting its stand on countering cross-border terrorism. In the face of Pakistan’s denials, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said there was enough evidence against Saeed and it was now up to Islamabad to act. “There is enough evidence to proceed against Saeed,” Chidambaram said at a press conference here to detail the activities of his ministry during July. “The evidence provided in three dossiers is, in our view, sufficient to investigate role of Hafiz Saeed (in the Mumbai carnage),” the minister said, adding: “The investigations in Pakistan will also throw up enough evidence.” Saeed, who had been placed under house arrest in December after the UN proscribed the JuD in the wake of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai attacks, was released by the Lahore High Court in June citing lack of evidence. On July 28, a defiant Pakistan said it would not arrest Saeed till adequate proof was provided of his involvement in the Mumbai carnage. “We cannot arrest him till adequate proof is provided. There is no proof,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a private TV news channel in an interview. The latest flip-flop came 12 days after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said July 16 his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had informed him that “common consensus” was being evolved and that “action will have to be taken against him (Saeed)”. Two days before that, on July 14, Pakistan’s Punjab provincial government had disassociated itself from the case against Saeed, saying the federal government had not furnished “solid evidence” to warrant his continued house arrest. The Punjab government’s move came as a three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was considering two identical petitions filed by the federal and provincial governments against Saeed’s release. Punjab Advocate General Raza Farooq told the court that the provincial government had put Saeed under house arrest on the directive of the federal government. Saeed is the founder of the Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group that New Delhi accuses of also staging the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. The LeT had morphed into the JuD after it was banned in the aftermath of the attack. Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the Mumbai mayhem, has admitted to being a Pakistani national and to being trained by the LeT for the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai attacks that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners. Pakistan has charged five men, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi with involvement in the Mumbai mayhem. Last month, Pakistan had handed over a dossier to India admitting its nationals were involved in the attacks. The dossier came days before the July 16 Gilani-Manmohan Singh meeting on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Shaikh. Speaking to reporters after the two-hour-long meeting, Manmohan Singh said he had raised the matter of Pakistan taking action against Saeed. “The Pakistan prime minister told me that there is common consensus being evolved that action will have to be taken against him. The Punjab government, which is of the opposition party, is being persuaded,” he said.

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