India's views on Saeed release misplaced: Pakistan
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India's views on Saeed release misplaced: Pakistan

Pakistan says India's views on the release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed are "misplaced" as it is "best not to comment on a court decision".

world Updated: Jun 03, 2009 16:10 IST

Pakistan says India's views on the release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed are "misplaced" as it is "best not to comment on a court decision".

Reacting to a statement issued by the Indian ministry of external affairs, Pakistani Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said "the views expressed therein are misplaced. It is best not to comment on a court decision.

The Pakistani government was "well aware" of its obligations under national and international laws, he said in a statement.

Noting that Pakistan had demonstrated "full sincerity and commitment" in its enquiry into the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai attacks, the statement said the Indian authorities had undertaken to provide an English translation of the material that had been handed over to Pakistan on May 20.

"Polemics and unfounded insinuations cannot advance the cause of justice in civilized societies. Legal processes cannot and must not be interfered with," the statement added.

Citing lack of evidence, a full bench of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday overturned a Dec 11, 2008 order placing Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group that India blames for the Mumbai mayhem, under house arrest.

The release of Saeed elicited strong reactions from India, which saw it as yet another evidence of Pakistan's lack of sincerity in bringing to justice the architects and perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

"We are unhappy that Pakistan has not shown the degree of seriousness it should to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime," Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said Saeed's release has "put under a cloud" Pakistan's "seriousness" to bring the 26/11 perpetrators to book.

"It is regrettable that Pakistan has resorted to this," added Krishna, also speaking in New Delhi.

An official statement by India's external affairs ministry encapsulated New Delhi's "disappointment" and its growing impatience at any lack of progress by Islamabad in the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

"We are disappointed at the release of Hafiz Saeed," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in a statement.

"Hafiz Saeed is specifically listed as linked to these terrorist groups. It is regrettable that notwithstanding this background and the international obligations it entails on Pakistan, he has been released," the spokesman said.

In Lahore on Tuesday, Pakistani government lawyers said they were surprised at the court verdict, particularly after they had last week presented evidence to the Lahore High Court linking Saeed's banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which the LeT had morphed into, to Al-Qaeda.

Attorney General Latif Khosa told the court during an in-camera hearing Saturday "that JuD is linked to Al-Qaeda, adding one culprit involved in Mumbai attacks is said to have links with JuD", Geo TV had reported.

The LeT had morphed into the JuD after the Pakistani government banned it under international pressure in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi blamed on the terror group.

During his interrogation, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the 26/11 mayhem, has admitted to being a Pakistani national and to being trained by the LeT for the Mumbai attacks.

First Published: Jun 03, 2009 16:09 IST