Denial by Pak Can't Exonerate Saeed: S.M. Krishna
Ahead of President Asif Ali Zardari's visit, India and Pakistan today indulged in a war of words over Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11, with Islamabad maintaining that they have not received any "concrete" proof against the JuD chief and New Delhi asserting that no amount of denial by them can exonerate him.
The remarks also come days of the US announcement of a USD 10 million bounty on Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who operates openly in Pakistan, giving anti-India public speeches. The US decision has renewed pressure on Islamabad to take action against him.
"The dossier that the Home Minister has provided to the Pakistan government contains every detail of Saeed's involvement in the planning and execution of terrorist attack on Mumbai.....
"So no amount of denial would exonerate them unless there is a judicial enquiry into the whole episode whereby responsibilities can be fixed but unfortunately Pakistan government has not thought it proper to investigate this," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in Bangalore.
Krishna was asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's remarks that the matter of Saeed is an "internal issue" and if there is any concrete proof against the outlawed JuD chief then it should be provided to Pakistan.
Asked whether Saeed issue will figure in the luncheon meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Zardari in Delhi on Sunday, Krishna said all bilateral issues are likely to figure in the talks.
Krishna's remarks were immediately contested by Pakistan, which said India had not given "any solid and significant evidence" against Saeed.
"There is nothing concrete and maintainable. From its own Mumbai trial experience, India knows well that hearsay cannot substitute for hard evidence," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told