Home India News Chidambaram welcomes Pakistan police action against Saeed

Chidambaram welcomes Pakistan police action against Saeed


New Delhi : Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday welcomed the Pakistan police’s move to file complaints against suspected Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and said even “a half step is a good step”.

“I have gathered it from the media. But I am told that it’s not related to the 26/11 attacks. Even if they apprehend him on some other charge and use the opportunity to question him on his involvement in the 26/11 attacks, that would be a significant progress in the case,” Chidambaram said in an interview with the TV news channel Times Now.

“I hope that they question him on 26/11 too,” he added.

Police in Faisalabad, Pakistan’s Punjab province, Thursday lodged two first information reports (FIRs) against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Saeed for making a speech to his supporters last month in which he called for jihad and appealed for funds for his organisation.

JuD is an Islamic charity that India and the US suspect is a front for terror operations and is now banned by the UN. Saeed, who headed the Lashkar-e-Taiba, had morphed LeT into JuD when it was banned.

Chidambaram said: “Even if they don’t say it publicly, even if in private they question him on 26/11, that would be significant progress and I would be happy about that.”

India has said that Saeed had masterminded the Nov 26 Mumbai terrorist carnage. Pakistan has arrested five LeT cadres, including its top commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and their trial has reportedly begun.

On a query about that trial in Pakistan, Chidambaram said: “What trial? There is no trial there. The trial has not started there. In fact, my complaint has been even before I visited the US, that we don’t have a date set for the trial and to the best of my knowledge, the first witness has not been examined. By way of contrast, our own trial in Mumbai is about to conclude.”

“The media says Hafiz Saeed has been arrested or detained. So, I think we should take it at face value. Let us see what they do now. Do they interrogate him? Do they investigate his role? It is too early to reach any conclusion. For me even a half step is a good step,” he added.

“It is indisputable, incontrovertible that the attack was planned on Pakistani soil and launched from Pakistan. We have arrested one of the 10 executioners. The other nine were killed. Now we want to know who are the brains, who were the controllers and why are they not being punished. It’s now almost little over nine months,” he said.

“We want them to be punished so that Pakistan demonstrates its determination to punish them. That’s all we ask. In a fair trial, in a properly constituted court, let them punish them. Is that asking too much?” Chidambaram added.