Pakistan must question Hafiz Saeed: Chidambaram


Chennai: Pakistan must interrogate alleged 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed as all the evidence against him was “on Pakistani soil”, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here Monday after reports that the chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) had been placed under house arrest in Lahore.

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“Even if it is a face saving technique, I have no objection. My demand is that now that he has been arrested he should be interrogated for his role in the 26/11 incidents,” Chidambaram told reporters on the sidelines of a function to inaugurate the Chennai-Hazrat Nizamuddin Duronto Express.

“Evidence is in Pakistani soil. When Pakistan says give us evidence, evidence is not on Indian soil, all the evidence against Hafiz Saeed is on Pakistani soil,” the home minister said.

“Therefore, one must investigate in Pakistan and find the evidence in Pakistan.”

Saeed was put under house arrest at his residence in Lahore, according to media reports.

India has been insisting that Pakistan take action against Saeed for his role in masterminding the Mumbai attacks but Pakistani authorities have claimed that the evidence provided by New Delhi against the JuD chief was not adequate for arresting or prosecuting him.

US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer had said last week after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram that going after Saeed and dismantling the terror infrastructure in that region was extremely important for both the US and India.

“It is extremely important that these perpetrators be brought to justice and put behind bars, and receive sentences commensurate with their crimes against India, US and the world.”

The move to put Saeed under house arrest comes days after Pakistani authorities filed two cases against the founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) under the anti-terrorism act. The fresh charges slapped on him have nothing to do with the 26/11 strikes.

India has till date given Pakistani authorities six dossiers detailing evidence against Saaed and other perpetrators for their role in Mumbai attacks where over 160 people were killed.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a terrorist organisation. However, he was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court in June this year.