Calling Rehman Malik's bluff, India says Pak never arrested Hafiz Saeed for 26/11 attacks

Hafiz Saeed

Calling Pakistan's bluff, India today said JuD chief Hafiz Saeed had never been arrested in connection with Mumbai terror attacks even though its Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed so.

Making a statement in both Houses of Parliament, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Malik, who just concluded his visit here, was "misinformed" about the actual reasons for the arrest of Saeed whom India blames as the main conspirator in the 26/11 attacks.

"From the papers given to us, it is clear that the detentions of Hafiz Saeed in the aforesaid cases were for other reasons and not for his role as a conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

"Therefore, I can only say that Rehman Malik appears to have been misinformed in the matter," Shinde said in Rajya Sabha, where BJP sought to corner the government, alleging that it had not responded strongly to controversial comments made by the Pakistan minister.

Shinde noted that Malik "has been telling us repeatedly that he had arrested Saeed thrice and that, on each occasion, he was let off by the courts for lack of evidence.

"We had been given to understand by the Interior Minister of Pakistan that Hafiz Saeed had been arrested on charges of being a part of the conspiracy for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks," he said.

He said when India pursued the matter, Pakistan had given the papers pertaining to the detention of Saeed in 2002 and 2009.

During his talks with Malik, Shinde said Pakistan has been told that it was of "paramount importance" to bring those guilty of the terror strikes to justice to ensure that the Indo-Pak peace process proceeds in an atmosphere free of terrorism and violence.

"On a larger plane, it was stated that terrorism isaffecting all aspects of the relationship and that we must deal with this menace effectively," he said.

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