India not given proof of Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in 26/11: Pakistan

Islamabad/New Delhi, Nov 24 ( Continuing to remain in denial mode, Pakistan Tuesday said India had not provided any evidence of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

“When I look at the new dossier provided by India and if there are any gaps then I would definitely tell India. We respect their courts and they should respect our courts and wait for the verdict,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told BBC Urdu in an interview.

Malik’s views, however, are at variance with those of India and the US.

On Aug 1, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said enough evidence had been provided to Pakistan to prosecute Saeed and it was now for Islamabad to proceed against him.

“There is enough evidence to proceed against Saeed,” Chidambaram said at a press conference in New Delhi.

“The evidence provided in three dossiers (the number has now risen to seven) 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.”

Last week, US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer asked Pakistan to show “action” by bringing Saeed to justice.

“We need to see actions and results from Pakistan. Those seven Mumbai suspects should be brought to justice through the criminal justice system in Pakistan,” Roemer told reporters in New Delhi ahead of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s state visit to the US.

Saeed had been placed under house arrest after the UN, acting under US and Indian pressure, in December 2008 banned his Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) that the LeT had morphed into. The Lahore High Court ordered his release in June, citing lack of evidence against him.

The Pakistani government has appealed the order in the Supreme Court, which has indefinitely put off a hearing on it.

Meanwhile, a court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi will rule Wednesday on the indictments against seven LeT operatives who are charged with assisting the 26/11 attackers.

Judge Muhammad Akram Awan of Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) reserved judgment Monday after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence lawyers.

Pakistani intelligence agencies had arrested the seven men, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhavi and communications expert Zarrar Shah for allegedly planning the Mumbai attacks, besides providing financial assistance and other facilities to the 10 gunmen who had staged the Nov 26-29, 2008 assault that claimed the lives of 166 people, including 26 foreigners.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the carnage has admitted his Pakistani nationality and that he was trained by the LeT.