Kasab's statement not enough to arrest Hafiz Saeed: Rehman Malik

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 15:00 hrs

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said the statement made by 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused Ajmal Kasab is not enough to arrest Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed.

Malik said one has to follow the law of the land and the courts.

"There has been lot of propaganda, there has been lot of pressure on us and I have been receiving the dossiers, but again dossiers with only information. We arrested Hafiz Saeed three times. I will make the official documents public, documents from the courts, judgements, where Hafiz Saeed has been declared innocent. I assure you that if there is any evidence and that evidence when it is scrutinized by the media and which can stand the test of the courts, at international standards, I assure you that if I have evidence before I leave (from India) I will order the arrest," said Malik.

"If I can arrest seven people in connection with the Mumbai blast, who are still lodged in jails and could not get the bail, then what problem do we have in arresting Hafiz Saeed? I would today request Shinde Sahab that both him and me should work in this regard because the court cannot accept one statement of Kasab. If there is a statement, that has to be substantiated with some evidence," he added.

Malik further said Pakistan has always condemned terrorism.

"We have lost 40,000 innocent people, 42,000 have become almost handicapped. This thing has brought lot of grief for us. So, we know the touch of terrorism. First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to the families who had suffered. You know these stakeholders. We are all good, you all want peace; but those who are not state actors they have been playing havoc with both the nations," said Malik.

"It's not only Pakistan has suffered, India has also suffered. I do not want to give any negative response today. What I want is a positive message, a positive way forward. Lets forget the dark days, let us enter with the shining stars, with smiling faces, with clear hearts that Pakistan and India has to be friends," he added, when asked whether he had come to New Delhi with some assurances on the Mumbai attacks.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had earlier this week said that India would demand handing over of Hafiz Saeed during Rehman Malik's India visit.

Shinde said that India would also seek voice samples of the handlers of the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai terror attacks.

It may be recalled here that Kasab was hanged at Pune's Yerwada Jail last month after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition. He was buried inside the premises of Yerwada Jail shortly after his execution.

25-year-old Kasab had been lodged in the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai ever since he was arrested immediately after the attack in 2008. He was convicted and given capital punishment by the trial court on May 6, 2010, which was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011.

The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the sentence on August 29 this year.

Kasab was one of the ten terrorists who travelled to India for the attack. Other nine were killed in the operation. 166 people were killed in the Mumbai terror attacks. (ANI)

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