Days after Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that no action could be taken against terrorist Hafiz Saeed, India has hit back saying that Pakistan has turned a blind eye to the evidence available against the UN designated terrorist.
“If somebody is a designated global terrorist, it’s done based on a lot of evidence available in public domain. You can close your eyes, pretend nothing happened but they (Pakistan) have to realise what’s in front of them and take action against such people, who are freely operating from their soil.” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Friday.
India’s reaction came after Abbasi in a TV interview referred to Hafiz Saeed as ‘sahib’ or ‘sir’ saying that no action can be taken as there is no case against him.
On Thursday, the United States also called for the prosecution of Hafiz Saeed “to the fullest extent of the law”.
Reacting strongly to Abbasi’s comments in a recent interview, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the US believes that Saeed should be prosecuted and they have told Pakistan as much.
“We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a designated foreign terror organisation…We have made our points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted,” Nauert told reporters on Thursday.
“We regard him as a terrorist, a part of a foreign terrorist organisation. He was the mastermind, we believe, of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many people, including Americans as well,” she explained.
Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017.0
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Toiba which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
Earlier this month, the US suspended about USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, accusing it of not doing enough in the fight against terrorism.
(With inputs from agencies)