Government sources said the main issue is whether Pakistan will have the will to charge Saeed in the Mumbai attack case.
New Delhi: With reports that Pakistan has placed Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s name on the Exit Control List — two days after the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and his four aides were put under house arrest — India on Thursday said all it needs is for Pakistan to find the “requisite” political will to take action against Saeed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case. Government sources said the main issue is whether Pakistan will have the will to charge Saeed in the Mumbai attack case.
Reports from Islamabad said the Pakistan interior ministry has forwarded a letter to all provincial governments and the Federal Investigation Agency, which included names of 38 individuals placed on the list including Saeed, preventing them from leaving the country. All of them were said to be linked with the terrorist JuD or Lashkar-e-tayyiba (LeT).
In New Delhi, India dismissed Pakistan’s demand for “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 case, saying the required proof is already available in that country. Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that India would not go by the claims or statements made by Pakistan about the steps taken to check terrorism but by what happens on the ground.
“The entire conspiracy for the Mumbai attack was hatched in Pakistan. All the terrorists came from there, all the planning was done in Pakistan, all the support was rendered by it. In fact, Saeed has himself confessed to masterminding multiple terrorists attacks directed at India. So the concrete evidence that Pakistan is looking for is already available in Pakistan. All they need to find is requisite political will,” Mr Swarup said.
On the recent release of Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan and if this indicated softening of Pakistan’s stand that could lead to resumption of bilateral dialogue, Mr Swarup said India welcomes the steps taken by Pakistan on humanitarian matters.
“We have consistently maintained that a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is only possible in an atmosphere free of terror and violence. Any credible steps in that direction will certainly be welcomed by India,” he said. He added, “We will not go by their (Pakistan’s) claims and statements. We will go by what we will see on the ground. At the end of the day, that is what matters.”
He was asked about the reported statement of a Pakistan interior ministry spokesperson that “If indeed India is serious about its allegations, it should come up with concrete evidence against Hafiz Saeed which is sustainable in court of law in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere in the world” and that mere casting aspersions and levelling allegations without any corroborating evidence would not help.
According to news agency reports, Saeed and four other Jamaat-ud Dawa leaders — Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz — were put under house arrest after an order was issued by Punjab province’s interior ministry on Monday in pursuance to a directive from the federal interior ministry on January 27.
Meanwhile, Union minister of state (MoS) in the PMO Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the country has been providing evidence at different levels and cautioned the longer Pakistan stays in “denial mode” the more it risks its own security. Asserting that Pakistan is now the “epicentre of terrorism” in the entire region, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, Singh said the neighbouring country is also the “hub of gross human rights violations”.
“The entire world now acknowledges and realises that from time to time India has been providing a series of evidence at different levels. And therefore there is hardly any evidence required. The longer Pakistan prefers to stay in denial mode, they must realise, the powers that be in Islamabad, the more they are going to risk their own security,” Mr Singh was quoted as telling reporters outside Parliament.