Even as New Delhi’s demand that 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed be brought to justice, remains unheeded, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Monday described the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief as a Pakistani national who is “free to roam around” in the country.
Basit said, “Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national, he is free to roam around. What’s the problem?” The Pak envoy was responding to a query on reports that Saeed is roaming around freely in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Basit also pitched for early resumption of talks between the two countries. “Let us hope that the talks between India & Pakistan resume sooner than later,” he said.
The ‘what’s wrong with Saeed’ assertion by the Pakistani official comes at a time when Indian intelligence officials have warned of a possible attempt by Saeed to launch a major terror attack in India.
Prior to his visit to the PoK, the JuD chief was seen near the Indo-Pak international border in Rajasthan. Later Indian intelligence agencies had issued an alert about the presence of a group of terror operatives waiting across the border waiting to cross over into India.
India has been pressing Pakistan to act against Saeed, given his link to the 26/11 Mumbai attack that led to death of 166 people. However, Pakistan has all along maintained that there is no credible evidence linking him to the terror attack.
Importantly, Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during 26/11 terror strike, had claimed meeting Saeed in a training camp in PoK, where all 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai were given commando training.
The US State Department has also placed Saeed-run JuD on the list of banned foreign terrorist organisations and offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the arrest of Saeed. JuD is a frontal organization for terror group Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT).