India on Sunday asserted that the issue of arrest of Hafiz Saeed, one of the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, did figure prominently during the Foreign Secretary-level talks here on February 25.

New Delhi also expressed surprise over the statement by Islamabad that the issue was not taken up at the parleys between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir.

“Saeed's activities including his recent vitriolic and venomous statements aimed at fomenting further acts of terrorism against India and the unhindered public space and freedom he enjoys in Pakistan was raised strongly by India during the Foreign Secretary-level talks,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in a statement here.

Responding to a question on the recent statement by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who claimed that India never demanded the arrest of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief, the spokesman said New Delhi had been demanding action since the barbaric and dastardly attacks.

“A dossier containing a compilation of evidence on the involvement of Hafiz Saeed in the terrorist attacks was handed over to Pakistan on August 21, last year and his name featured prominently in yet another dossier handed over to the Pakistan Foreign Secretary during the February 25 talks,'' the spokesman said.