Saeed’s release: Unhappy India to mobilise global pressure


New Delhi : Unhappy over the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Saeed, a suspected mastermind of the Mumbai carnage, India Tuesday said it showed Pakistan’s lack of sincerity in acting against terrorism and readied to mobilise international opinion to put pressure on Islamabad.

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External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna was prompt in condemning the release of Saeed by the Lahore High Court as “regrettable” and underlined it was for Pakistan to create a propitious climate for the resumption of bilateral talks.

Krishna met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed India’s strategy to bring Pakistan to account after Saeed’s release that showed its insincerity in addressing India’s concerns, reliable sources said. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon was also present at the meeting.

US Charge d’Affairs (head of mission) Peter Burleigh also met Krishna and discussed the release of Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that morphed into JuD after being banned in 2001.

“It is regrettable that Pakistan has released Hafeez Saeed who has been part of terror outfits in Pakistan,” Krishna told reporters here.

“The organisation (JuD) with which he has connections has been declared terrorist organisation by the United Nations Security Council,” Krishna added.

“This only shows that Pakistan’s seriousness to fight against terror is still under a cloud,” he said.

“India will take all possible steps in order to drive home its point,” Krishna said when asked whether New Delhi will mobilise international pressure on Pakistan to act faster to prosecute the Mumbai terrorists.

A full bench of the Lahore High Court heard a habeas corpus petition against the detention of Saeed, who had been placed under house arrest Dec 11 following the Nov 26-29 Mumbai terrorist attacks. It cited lack of evidence while setting him free.

The move is seen here as the Pakistan establishment’s attempt to appease Islamist hardliners as it wages a military offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley and northwestern region.

Saeed, an Islamist ideologue who often preaches hatred against India in his fiery Friday sermons at the JuD headquarters in Muridke near Lahore, was detained nearly six months ago after the UN declared the JuD a terrorist group.

Krishna also repudiated any attempt to link Kashmir with terrorism in the region. “This has nothing to do with Kashmir. Terrorism, whether in Kashmir, Mumbai or elsewhere is abominable.

“Kashmir is a part of the composite dialogue which we have initiated with Pakistan. It is in Pakistan’s part to create conditions for the dialogue to resume.”

He was responding to comments of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani saying the resolution of the Kashmir dispute holds the key to peace in the region.

“Kashmir holds the key to peace in the region. It must be resolved sincerely through dialogue,” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said while inaugurating the 43rd session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council – the euphemism Pakistan uses for the portion of Kashmir it controls.