India refutes Malik, says Saeed not held for 26/11


India called Pakistan's bluff on 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed on Monday, pointing out that he was never arrested in connection with the Mumbai attack, contrary to what its visiting Interior Minister Rehman Malik had claimed.

"Mr Rehman Malik has been telling us repeatedly that he had arrested Mr Hafiz Saeed thrice and that on each occasion, he was let off by the courts for lack of evidence," Shinde said in a statement in both Houses of Parliament. "From the papers given to us, it is clear that the detentions of Shri Hafiz Saeed... were for other reasons and not for his role as a conspirator in the 26/11 attack. Mr Rehman Malik appears to have been misinformed."

Shinde's suo motu statement followed demands by the BJP to cancel the Pakistan cricket team's tour of India beginning December 25 and suspension of talks till the perpetrators of 26/11 were brought to justice.

Shinde said India had made it clear to Malik that punishing the 26/11 accused was of "paramount importance". However, the papers given to India clearly showed that the detention of Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Saeed between 2002 and 2009 was for other reasons.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha during zero hour, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha accused Shinde of demonstrating "weakness" and suggested the cancellation of the Indo-Pak cricket series.

"If you (Malik) insulted India, you (Shinde) should have said we don't accept it. He (Shinde) should have contradicted the Pakistani minister's statement then and there," Sinha said.

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