Now, Rehman Malik says religious violence leading to extremism in India

Rehman Malik

Facing criticism over the slow pace of 26/11 trial in Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said attempts were being made to "fast-track" the case and wanted India to give "hard" and "substantive" evidence for the arrest of mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

Malik, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, later said an application to fast track the case has been moved in the Lahore High Court and could be completed within three months if it is accepted.

Singh had during his 15-minute meeting with Malik, raised the issue of pending trial against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks based in Pakistan.

On the issue of Saeed, founder of terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, who is roaming freely in Pakistan and indulging in anti-India rhetoric, Malik said, "If I am given hard evidence now, if it is substantive...before I leave Pakistan, I will order his arrest".

Malik, who had triggered a controversy by trying to equate the Babri mosque demolition with 26/11 attacks, said he had only projected that sectarian violence must be contained by both India and Pakistan and that his remark should not be taken in a "negative way".

The Pakistani leader, who is on a three-day visit, said he had no intention to interfere in the inter-faith matter as he was fully aware of such issues as Pakistan itself is a victim of inter-faith clashes.

Malik said if the Pakistan Judicial Commission, which visited in India in March, had been allowed to cross examine four witnesses in 26/11 case, the trial in Pakistan would have been completed by now.

"The (2nd) Judicial Commission will come very soon," he said.

Malik tried to assuage outrage over his remarks on torture meted out to Kargil hero Saurabh Kalia, saying he will look into the case.

At the same time, the minister, who had yesterday stated that he did not know whether Kalia, whose mutilated body was returned to India by Pakistan Army, had died of bullet or weather, today gave another spin.

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