Pakistan gives 'lame excuses' on Hafiz Saeed
New Delhi: Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik gave "lame excuses" for not taking action against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Indian side believes that he will be allowed to continue to roam free in that country and indulge in anti-India rhetoric.
During the Indo-Pak Home Minister-level talks on Friday, Malik not only dismissed the "evidence" provided by India against Saeed as "mere information", but also tried to "mislead" by stating that courts have freed him despite his being arrested thrice, Home Ministry officials said.
Saeed, they said, was never arrested for his role in Mumbai terror attack or for his continuous anti-India propaganda.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had raised the issue of Saeed during his talks with Malik.
The first time Saeed was taken into preventive custody while there was no follow up action on his second arrest. In the third arrest, he was let off by court which found fault in the FIR, the officials said.
'Hate' is an offence under Pakistan Penal Code but Saeed continues to deliver hate speeches across Pakistan against India and New Delhi's repeated appeal to arrest him has gone unheard, they said.
New Delhi feels that Pakistan is not sincere in expediting the 26/11 trial and not honouring its promise to crack down on terror outfits like LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, headed by Saeed.
Pakistani-American and LeT operative David Headley had given details of Saeed's activities for the outfit from 2001 to 2008 but Pakistani authorities claimed that he had left LeT on December 24, 2001, before the outfit was banned on January 14, 2002.
"Pakistan's intention is clear. They do not want to take action against Saeed. This is the impression that we got during talks," an official said.
"The Pakistani Minister was not in the least convincing and repeatedly gave lame excuses for not taking action against Saeed," the officials said.
The Pakistani side had also contended that there was a court ruling on a petition by Saeed's wife Memoona who had submitted he had left LeT in 2001.