Outrage in India over Qureshi equating Hafiz Saeed with Pillai

Political parties have slammed Pak Fgn Min Shah Mehmood Qureshi for comparing Home Secy GK Pillai`s remarks to the anti-India rant by Hafiz Saeed.

Updated: Jul 16, 2010, 12:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Although the government is yet to respond officially, political parties across the spectrum Friday expressed outrage over Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi equating comments made by Home Secretary GK Pillai to the hate-filled anti-India rant by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

The Congress described as ridiculous attempts by Pakistan to equate Pillai with Saeed. Pillai had early this week blamed Pakistan`s powerful Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for "controlling and coordinating" the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 "from the beginning to the end".

At a joint news conference with Krishna after their talks in Islamabad, Qureshi when asked as to why Saeed was not being reined in by Pakistan from making anti-India speeches shot back: "I agree that both sides need to create an enabling environment
and not let the climate of engagement be vitiated by negative propaganda.”

“But, I want to know to what extend did the Indian Home Secretary`s statement on the eve of this dialogue help? We both (ministers) are of the opinion that it (Pillai`s remarks)
was uncalled for."

Reacting strongly to the statement, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, "The Home Secretary was simply making a statement of fact about what India`s stand has been, it is only India`s stand. I don`t think there is any basis for comparison of statements by Hafiz Saeed or Salahuddin with the Home Secretary. That would be ridiculous."

Singhvi also noted that Krishna has not confirmed Qureshi`s remarks that both the ministers were of the opinion that Pillai`s comments on ISI`s role in 26/11 were "uncalled" for.

Qureshi`s criticism was noteworthy as it was in response to a question on the anti-Indian rhetoric of Saeed and he cited Pillai`s comments as a counter.

Krishna`s silence when Pillai was attacked by the Pakistani minister has raised
The BJP today regretted that Home Secretary Pillai was not "defended" by Krishna when he was "openly castigated" by Qureshi for his remarks that the ISI had coordinated Mumbai terror attacks.

"The Foreign Minister of Pakistan chose to attack India`s Home Secretary. I regret he was not defended there by India`s Foreign Minister," BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Prasad while offering his preliminary comments on the outcome of the Indo-Pak talks said Qureshi was making an issue out of Pillai`s statement which was nothing but a statement of LeT operative and Pakistani-American David Headley about the
role of ISI in Mumbai attack. Headley has confessed to his involvement in 26/11 and is currently in FBI custody in Chicago in the US.

"They have no reply or content but they are comparing it (Pillai`s remarks) with Hafiz Saeed without taking any action," Prasad said.

With PTI inputs