Downplaying Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s statement, the government said on Monday that India is capable of countering any threat or challenge to its territory or sovereignty, adding that his statement should not be given too much importance.
“The related department and the officials are placing the proofs against Hafiz Saeed. India is capable of facing any threat. So, I don’t think these are issues to be discussed publicly. I think there is no reason to be disturbed about what somebody says, because India is capable by all means to face any kind of threat or challenge,” minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh said.
The reaction from the government came after Hafiz Saeed dared India to prove his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Echoing similar sentiments, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the JuD chief is a criminal and he needs to be punished.
“India has zero tolerance towards terrorism. There is no compromise in that. It’s not important what he says... it’s important what we say,” he added.
According to a video posted on his Twitter account, Saeed is seen saying, “Our government remained silent, but let me respond to Sushma. It’s been seven years but they could not prove who was behind the Mumbai attacks and Insha Allah (if Allah wills it) they will never be able to prove it until eternity.”
“India has failed to provide any evidence of Mumbai attacks, while on the other hand Modi has confessed for worst terrorism of #1971.”
Saeed’s statement also comes after India was assured of steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of 26/11 Mumbai trial, after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan last week.
The Opposition Congress launched an attack on Modi government, questioning the Centre’s stand on holding bilateral talks with Pakistan. “This is painful, as our government is very keen to talk to Pakistan,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.
“Hafiz Saeed is the killer of 197 people in Mumbai and he is making such statements. Is this the result of the negotiations between India and Pakistan? Pakistan should first send Hafiz Saeed to the Indian court and should stop terror activities,” he added.
The Nationalist Congress Party, however, said “revealing the truth” is very important, and there’s nothing “wrong” in demanding proof.
“If a person like Hafiz Saeed can dare and say this, then Sushma Swaraj, her ministry and the home ministry should come forward and place the proof in front of the nation. Revealing the truth is very important. I don’t think there’s any wrong if he is asking for proof... we should prove it,” NCP leader Majeed Memon said.