Ahead of two key bilateral meetings here, Pakistan on Thursday sought more time to investigate the role of detained Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in the November last Mumbai terror attacks. It, however, claimed that India had so far provided it with only “leads” and not “credible tangible evidence.”
“The only request that I am making to India is give us credible tangible evidence, which can stand the test of the court. But, I am not rejecting those leads, what I am saying — give me some time to investigate,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
“...We are on it. If we get some material evidence we will do it,” he told NDTV here.
Stating that “there is a difference between leads and evidence,” Mr. Malik, who is here as part of the Pakistani delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, said that “trust always comes when you interact. I think there is a block because India is not coming on the table. If they come on the table, I’ll be able to satisfy [them] with number of things.”
Mr. Malik said, “if we can arrest (Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi (Lashkar-e-Taiba operations chief), why should we not arrest Hafiz Saeed? ...If we get some material evidence, we will do it.” He noted that two FIRs were registered against Saeed by the Faisalabad police under the Anti-Terrorism Act for inciting people to wage ‘jehad’ and collecting donations for the same.
“Let me assure you one thing that when the leads culminate into such evidence, where I can stand before the court, yes he is criminal, I will not waste a minute, he will be arrested. But we will have to take time, we have to follow our law,” Mr. Malik said adding Pakistan expected India to respect its courts and wait for the results.
“As we are respecting the investigation and the courts of India, I expect my counterpart and the authorities to please give respect to our courts. Wait for some time, because the court process has started and we mean business and whatever we have committed ... on all fora — local or international — we mean business.
“...as far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned, please do not make it as a condition because you know yourself that whatever you have given us is not evidence,” Mr. Malik said.