India saw red after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said in an interview that there was no case against 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, with Minister of State (MoS) for Home Hansraj Ahir asserting that the government won’t decide its strategy on basis of what Islamabad proclaimed.
Ahir said India considered Saeed a terrorist and would take action against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief even if Pakistan backed out. “We won’t decide our nation’s strategy on basis of what Pakistan says. We consider Hafiz Saeed a terrorist. It will be good if Pakistan government takes action but even if they don’t, we will,” Ahir said.
The strong response from India came after Geo TV aired an interview of the Pakistan PM, in which he said there was no case registered against Saeed in Islamabad and so no action could be initiated against him. “There is no case against Hafiz Saeed saheb in Pakistan, if there were a case, action would have been taken. Action is taken when there is a case registered (against someone),” Abbasi said.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav minced no words as he accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye towards terror activities of Saeed. “Plenty of evidence against terror activities of Hafiz Saeed have been collected by countries. It’s all available with Pakistan government, but they want to turn a blind eye. For a PM for whom Hafiz Saeed is ‘saheb’, what evidence can anyone supply to him,” Madhav said.
New Delhi has time and again asked Islamabad to take action against Saeed, who is claimed to be the mastermind of 26/11 attack in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed. The US has designated Saeed as a global terrorist and has put a bounty of $10 million on his head, besides suspending $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan. With his name also on the UN terror list, Saeed has also recently petitioned the global body seeking removal of his name since none of the allegations against him – either related to terrorism or otherwise – has been proved in the Pakistani courts.
After his release on November 24, the LeT founder had confirmed that JuD would contest the 2018 general elections in Pakistan under the banner of the Milli Muslim League (MML), which is yet to be registered with the Election Commission. The Pakistan government recently prohibited Saeed’s JuD and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) from collecting donations.