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Pak doesn't want 'half-baked' case against Saeed: Qureshi

world Updated: Sep 27, 2009 13:42 IST
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Pakistan does not want to take to court a "half-baked" case against JuD chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding Mumbai attacks, and needs "legally tenable" evidence against him, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday hours ahead of crucial talks with his Indian counterpart S M Krishna.

"We will certainly not hesitate for taking action (against Saeed), but we got to have a case which is legally tenable because if we take a case into court which is a half-baked case and if the court sets him free, you'll say 'collusion', 'drama'. No we are not in a mood to collude with terrorists," Qureshi told NDTV in New York.

He was responding to a question about Pakistan not taking action against Saeed, also founder of the LeT, despite being provided with evidence by India against him.

When pointed out that Saeed has not been arrested though two FIRs were filed against him for inciting people to wage 'jehad' and seeking donations for the same, Qureshi said: "That's for us to decide and that's for the legal process in Pakistan to decide.

"There are procedures that you have to follow. We have a very independent judiciary. Thank God for that. You know how cumbersome legal procedures are but we will not be soft on anyone who wants to move out of line of government policy."

On India giving evidence to Pakistan on Saeed's meeting with Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 attacks, before the strikes, Qureshi said "we would want a case if we would want to proceed in a manner which is foolproof because we would want the prosecution to lead to the conviction."

When asked what can be expected from his meeting with Krishna, he said Pakistan was heading to the talks with a "positive mind" and all depended on the Indian side.

"It's up to the Indian mindset. Pakistan has a positive mind. If the Indian leadership shows vision, sky is the limit," he said.

On conflicting reports in Pakistan about Saeed's arrest, Qureshi said "no body said that he is under house arrest. Action has been taken against him. He made a provocative statement in Faisalabad and the government of Punjab has taken action. They have filed two cases against him and he is under observation. His movements are restricted."

Rejecting the impression that Pakistan's action against Saeed was only window dressing, Qureshi said "I am not in a mood to window dress... I am meeting Foreign Minister (Krishna). I am going to discuss with him what his views are on the back-channel. I have my views on the back-channel... I will share my thoughts and my views with him."

Pakistan is ready to move on and is "very clear" that it is not going to allow "a bunch of terrorists or non-state actors" to dictate policy to it, Qureshi said. "We will determine our own agenda and we have an agenda of peace and development in South Asia."