The case of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is an "internal issue" and any evidence against him should be provided to Pakistan so that the courts can take action, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today.
Gilani made the remarks while responding to points raised by lawmakers during a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate about the $10 million bounty offered by the US for Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The premier said this was an internal issue of Pakistan and "if there is any concrete proof against Saeed then it should be provided to Pakistan, which has an independent judiciary".
He pointed out that cases against Saeed were dismissed in the past due to lack of evidence. Gilani said while speaking in parliament this evening that
he had taken up the issue of the bounty with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides during a meeting yesterday.
He said he had informed Nides that at a time when Pakistan's parliament is framing new rules of engagement for the US, such "negative messages would increase the trust deficit".
The premier further said he had telephoned main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and taken him into confidence on the government's position on the issue of the bounty.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the joint session of parliament that she too had discussed the issue of the bounty with Nides yesterday.
She said she had told the American delegation that Saeed was a Pakistani citizen and the US should have informed Pakistan before taking such a decision.