Hafiz Saeed is mastermind of Mumbai attacks: India
25 May, 2012
ISLAMABAD: India on Thursday declared Hafiz Saeed as mastermind of the Mumbai attacks as the two countries started two-day talks in the capital on liberal visa regime, curbing smuggling and crimes.
Before the start of the secretary-level talks, Indian Home Secretary RK Singh expressed dissatisfaction over Pakistan's investigation into the Mumbai attacks and said that many of those involved in the incident have not been brought to courts yet.
Talking to reporters, he said that both countries should play their role in ensuring peace in the region. He asked Pakistan to take the Mumbai incident culprits to justice.
However, Pakistan's Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar termed the issue a court matter and added that Pakistan was participating in the talks with an open mind.
Akbar and his Indian counterpart met to finalise major changes in their decades-old existing strict bilateral visa regime. Many key decisions on liberalisation of visa regime for business community would take place within a week.
Singh said India had provided additional evidence against Hafiz Saeed and other perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to be used by Pakistani authorities to prosecute them. The additional evidence should be presented in the Pakistani court and used to prosecute the terror suspects, he added. The Indian secretary said, "It seems that the progress in judicial proceedings against them (persons charged with involvement in the Mumbai incident) is very slow."
Singh said the 2008 Mumbai attacks should not be equated with the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express train. He said that they had also briefed the Pakistani delegation on the progress in the Samjhauta Express investigations. The assault on Mumbai was an incident of cross-border terrorism while the train bombing had occurred within India, he pointed out.
Indian authorities had arrested and charge-sheeted those responsible for the bombing of the Samjhauta Express, Singh said. Hafiz Saeed is accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while on a visit to India, blamed Pakistan of "not doing enough" against Saeed.
Pakistan had demanded proof of his involvement in terrorism, which is good enough to stand in court of law. The Foreign Office spokesman has already clarified, "Our position on Hafiz Saeed is clear. We have independent and active courts. If anyone has proof against him, they should share it with us so that the courts can examine it."
The two sides agreed upon business community non-reporting to police upon arrival at the other country, elimination of the condition of same entry and exit point and issuance of multiple visas to business community.