Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday virtually rejected India’s demand for action against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed on the basis of dossiers provided so far, saying “hard” and “substantive” evidence is needed to arrest him.
“There is a difference between information and evidence.
If I am given hard evidence now, if it is substantive, documentary or any material, before I leave for Pakistan, I will order his (Saeed) arrest,” Mr. Malik, who is on a three-day visit, told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said if India had provided hard evidence against Saeed, founder of terrorist group LeT and JuD, nobody could have stopped Pakistan from acting against him.
“I have got him arrested earlier on three occasions and if you see the court order which I can also make them public... So, if our court asks us not to arrest him, tell me what is the fault of the executive,” Mr. Malik said.
He said this does not mean that no action would be initiated against Saeed in the absence of it.
“The investigation is on. The moment we see some kind of connection we will surely act,” he said.
On the issue of pending trial against perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Mr. Malik said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had forcefully put his point of view during the talks.
Mr. Malik said he also agreed that they should be punished swiftly.
Mr. Malik said during the meeting with Indian leaders the issue of voice samples of perpetrators of 26/11 terror attack was raised but Pakistan law restricts taking voice samples without the consent of the accused.
“The matter of voice sample was raised. Media also raised the issue here. Our law says that we cannot take a voice sample of an individual unless he has given his permission.
Our letter is pending with the High Court there where we have requested that we should be permitted to take voice sample,” he said.
Mr. Malik expressed satisfaction that the issue of judicial commission, which was pending for quite some time, has been resolved with the help of Shinde.
India has agreed to Pakistan’s request for sending a second judicial commission here to cross examine key witnesses of the 26/11 case but wanted Pakistan to allow a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to visit that country.
Mr. Malik said once judicial commission examined the witnesses and return, the trial would conclude very soon.