Don’t focus on Hafiz Saeed, he is not Pak: envoy | india | Hindustan Times
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Don’t focus on Hafiz Saeed, he is not Pak: envoy

Hafiz Saeed, chief of the banned Jammat-ud-Dawa and the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, “does not represent the government of Pakistan, or the average citizen in Pakistan or me,” Salman Bashir, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, told select editors Saturday afternoon in Mumbai.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2013 01:06 IST
Smruti Koppikar

Hafiz Saeed, chief of the banned Jammat-ud-Dawa and the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, “does not represent the government of Pakistan, or the average citizen in Pakistan or me,” Salman Bashir, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, told select editors Saturday afternoon in Mumbai.

“Why do you all focus on him here,” Bashir asked and asserted that Saeed, and radicals like him, had limited influence on Pakistani people. Besides, parliament is considering amendments in the anti-terror law to tackle people like Saeed, he said.

Bashir was Pakistan’s foreign secretary when the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s 10 terrorists laid siege to Mumbai in November 2008.

The 26/11 attack “cannot be justified on any ground”, said Bashir. Bashir is acutely aware of the significance of the statement in Mumbai with a fortnight left to go for the fifth anniversary of the attack.

On his first visit to the city, Bashir stayed at the Taj Mahal Hotel and Towers, one of the four – and the worst-hit sites – of that attack. The irony is not lost on him. “You’ve got to believe this – we were as shocked and grieved as anyone of you” when the terrorists mounted the attack, said Bashir.

Asked what Pakistani establishment had done to bring the perpetrators to justice, Bashir said, “The executive has done its job” and it’s now for the judiciary (in Pakistan) to render justice.

He did not specifically answer a question about the exact nature of documentation or evidence that Pakistan’s criminal justice system was expecting from its Indian counterpart, to argue the case.

The 26/11 case dossiers submitted by Indian authorities have been repeatedly countered by Pakistani authorities as not containing sufficient and relevant information and data.