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No proof against Hafiz Saeed's intervention in Mumbai attacks: Malik

Staff Report ISLAMABAD: It cannot be proven through the information provided by India that the Jamaat-ud Dawa Chairman Hafiz Saeed was involved in the Mumbai attacks, said the Interior Minister Rehman Malik while talking to a British TV Channel Tuesday. “If India can prove that Hafiz Saeed was involved, we will definitely take action against...

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 24, 2009 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 24, 2009 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
No proof against Hafiz Saeed's intervention in Mumbai attacks: Malik

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: It cannot be proven through the information provided by India that the Jamaat-ud Dawa Chairman Hafiz Saeed was involved in the Mumbai attacks, said the Interior Minister Rehman Malik while talking to a British TV Channel Tuesday.

“If India can prove that Hafiz Saeed was involved, we will definitely take action against him,” said Malik. “If Pakistan can arrest the mastermind Lakhwi, then action against Hafiz Saeed can also be taken.”

He said that the trial against the Mumbai attackers is going on and that India should wait for the verdict.

India has recently given one more document which is being investigated.

When asked about the hearing of the case of the Mumbai attacks, he said that the government has concrete proof but the court proceeding will take time. It is expected that the hearing will end in three or four months.

He said that the proof of Indian intervention has been found in Balochistan and South Waziristan. They will be handed over to India in their meeting

with their leadership.

BACKGROUND

In the Mumbai carnage of November 26, 2008, 164 people were killed. New Delhi has accused “Pakistan state” involvement and set a pre-condition of Pakistan taking action against the perpetrators, including prosecution of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group that India claims is the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks. The 69-page Indian Dossier titled “Mumbai Terrorist Attacks (November 26-29, 2008)” posted to Pakistan as evidences, lacked credible evidence to stand in the court of Law to bring the perpetrators to justice. Nevertheless, Pakistan has acknowledged that some part of the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan by non-state actors, acting upon their own wish. Pakistan raided militant organizations and arrested Zakiur Rehman Lakhavi and Hafiz Saeed (founder of the LeT and head of JuD) along with 124 activists throughout Pakistan. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was arrested in Pakistan in December 2008. However, Lahore High Court released him in June, 2009, in the absence of ‘concrete evidence’ against him. The Government of Pakistan has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court for his re-arrest. While expressing dismay over Hafiz Saeed’s release, India’s Federal Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram termed Lahore High Court‘s verdict of “insufficient grounds to detain Saeed” to a “charade.”

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has become bone of contention between the two countries. It is very interesting that instead of appreciating Pakistan’s efforts against Mumbai suspects, India has hinged everything on the prosecution of Hafiz Saeed. How can Pakistan take action against Hafiz Saeed on the basis of “hearsay & conjectures”? So much so, Indian interior minister has visited to urge US to intervene in the issue and press Pakistan to act against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is an uncalled for development. Becoming wary of Indian proddings, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has invited his Indian counterpart for a “public debate” on the issue of Mumbai attacks. Undoubtedly, Pakistan has done more than India as far as investigations into the Mumbai attack are concerned. Pakistan started the trial of 26/11 incidents in a transparent manner. However, time will be required to access the genuineness of information provided by India.

What India has provided so far in the case of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is not sufficient for any legal action. Under immense Indian pressure, Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Hafiz Saeed based on the confession statement of Ajmal Qasab – the lone survivor of Mumbai attackers. The prominent Indian newspaper “The Hindu” criticized the Interpol for issuing such an ambiguous and vague notice.

Christine Fair, a renowned political analyst at the RAND Corporation analyzed that the attacks though attributed largely to Pakistan LeT. However, there is a change in the initial Indian stand – from total complicity of Pakistan-based LeT to the possible assistance of local facilitators. Until recently, India has generally dismissed the importance of home-grown Islamist militant groups and has focused instead upon the Pakistan-based groups. Many Western experts feel that such precision planning and execution in the Mumbai attacks would not have been possible without the involvement of some local dissatisfied and underprivileged community. Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, while admitting Indian involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks on 26/11, blamed Indian Muslims for fomenting troubles in India supported by Pakistan-based groups LeT & JeM. It is very worrisome that marginalization of Indian Muslims is directly proportional to the increase in radicalism leading to the incident such as Mumbai attacks. SAMAA

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