Pakistan said that India's dossier pointing to the alleged involvement of Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks did not contain anything substantial. The reference apparently was to a document handed over on August 1 and not the one furnished only hours earlier on Friday.
Speaking to reporters at Multan airport, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if India has explicit evidence regarding Saeed's involvement in the Mumbai attacks, this should be handed over to Pakistan.
After examining the evidence, "we will take action against him, as the dossier that India has provided did not have substantial evidence", Online news agency quoted Qureshi as saying.
India Friday handed over another dossier to Pakistan with new information on Saeed.
Official sources said the dossier was handed over at a meeting in New Delhi between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik. The meeting was held at the request of the Pakistani envoy.
However, since Qureshi was speaking in Multan, he is highly unlikely to have seen the latest dossier given Friday.
The new information pertains specifically to Saeed. Pakistan earlier said it does not have enough information from India to prosecute Saeed. This is the fifth dossier that India has handed over to Pakistan on the Nov 26-29, 2008, Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreign nationals.
India gave its last dossier on Saeed on August 1, which included transcripts of conversations between the Mumbai attackers and their handlers in Pakistan. Addressing a press conference here August 1, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said: "There is enough evidence to proceed against Saeed."
"The evidence provided in three dossiers is, in our view, sufficient to investigate role of Hafiz Saeed (in the Mumbai carnage)," the minister said, adding: "The investigations in Pakistan will also throw up enough evidence."
Qureshi also urged India to hand over information regarding the statement of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that there was the possibility of another attack like the Mumbai carnage in India.
Saeed, who was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN proscribed the JuD in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, was released by the Lahore High Court in June, citing what it called "lack of evidence".
In July, Pakistan said it would not arrest Saeed till adequate proof was provided of his involvement in the Mumbai carnage.
But, at a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sharm-el-Sheikh Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told him that "common consensus" was being evolved and that "action will have to be taken against him (Saeed)".
Two days before that, on July 14, Pakistan's Punjab provincial government had disassociated itself from the case against Saeed, saying the federal government had not furnished "solid evidence" to warrant his continued house arrest.
Earlier this month, the new US envoy to India, Timothy J. Roemer, said that Pakistan should follow up the trial of suspects of the Mumbai terror attacks.
"People held in Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks should be brought to justice," he told reporters Aug 12.
Roemer's remarks came in the wake of the Pakistan Supreme Court's decision to postpone indefinitely the petitions challenging Saeed's release, which virtually left him free. The court cited the lack of evidence against Saeed while announcing its decision.