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No evidence against Saeed: Pak envoy

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma  

Pakistan on Friday maintained that the meeting between Jama’at-Ud-Da’wa leader Hafeez Saeed and Indian journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik was a private affair concerning two citizens and the Pakistan government had no knowledge about it.

Interacting with journalists here on Friday, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said Hafeez Saeed was a private citizen and while the Pakistan government had detained him, it did not find any evidence against him.

“This was a meeting between two private citizens…it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment…our government was not aware and nor was the government of India,” said Mr. Basit.

“He was part of a 14 member delegation headed by Mani Shankar Aiyyar that went to attend a conference arranged by the Regional Peace Institute…he was given visa for that…he stayed back…along with a couple of others,” he said.

Asked how Mr. Saeed could be called a private citizen when was wanted in India for the 26/11 attacks and the United Nations had placed sanctions against the JuD as a terrorist organisation, Mr. Basit said the Pakistan government could not find any evidence against him.

“We had detained him but we didn’t have any evidence on the basis of which we could try him…even if today someone has hard evidence…it should be shared…only to please the world we cant put our citizens in jail…we have a judicial process…so kindly try to look at things objectively,” he said.

Mr. Basit, however, refused to comment on the purported judicial delays in the ongoing 26/11 trials in Pakistan.

“I have no comment to make on that…the case is sub judice…judicial proceedings take time as in any other country…I wouldn’t like to mention the Samjhauta express trials (in India)...these things have their own pace so let’s not draw wrong conclusions…Pakistan is committed to bring to justice those who perpetrated this heinous crime,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 10:02:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/No-evidence-against-Saeed-Pak-envoy/article11271578.ece

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