India on Sunday expressed "surprise" over Pakistan's claim that the issue of the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, LeT founder and one of the 26/11 masterminds, was not taken up during the recent foreign secretary-level talks.
India has maintained that it demanded action against Saeed and that the matter was raised “strongly” during the discussion between the foreign secretaries on February 25.
“Saeed's activities including his recent vitriolic and venomous statements aimed at fomenting further acts of terrorism against India and the unhindered public space and freedom he enjoys in Pakistan was raised strongly by India during the Foreign Secretary-level talks," an external affairs ministry spokesman said in a statement on Sunday.
Talking to reporters in Multan, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had claimed that India never demanded the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Saeed nor discussed the issue when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir met in Pakistan.
"A dossier containing a compilation of evidence on the involvement of Saeed in the terrorist attacks was handed over to Pakistan on August 21, 2009 and his name featured prominently in yet another dossier handed over to the Pakistan Foreign Secretary during the talks on February 25, 2010," the statement said.