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No solid evidence against Saeed from India: Pak

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
August 21, 2009 19:56 IST
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Pakistan has not received any "solid evidence" against outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed from India so far, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday, as New Delhi presented a fresh dossier on the26/11 carnage to Islamabad.

The dossiers with information on the Mumbai attacks provided by India do not have any proof regarding the culpability of Saeed, Qureshi said. He urged India to provide any evidence it has against Saeed, also the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayiba blamed by New Delhi for carrying out the Mumbai attacks last year. Any evidence received from India will be reviewed by Pakistan, Qureshi said. Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used for terrorist purposes, he told reporters in his hometown of Multan.

Qureshi spoke as India presented a fresh dossier on the Mumbai attacks to Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik in New Delhi, on Friday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can share with Pakistan information on any terrorist threats available with the Indian government, Qureshi said. The sharing of information on terrorist threats had been agreed upon when Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Sharm el-Sheikh last month, he said.

Politics should be avoided in the fight against terrorism as Pakistan has already offered full cooperation to India, Qureshi said. He added that India needs to create an "environment of trust" for things to move forward between the two countries. Foreign Minister Qureshi told a group of senior editors and journalists during an interaction on Thursday that India has not responded to Pakistans request for intelligence-sharing on New Delhi's concerns about terrorist attacks being planned from Pakistani soil.

The Foreign Office made the request following Prime Minister Singh's remarks at a conference in New Delhi on Monday that his government has "credible information" of Pakistan-based terror groups planning to carry out fresh attacks. "Instead of being dismissive and simply rejecting these allegations, we decided to engage India and requested them to share that intelligence," Qureshi said on Thursday. Since the two countries have an intelligence-sharing mechanism, the Minister said he wanted the Indian leadership to "stop playing to the gallery" and to share information instead of making announcements through the media.

Saeed was placed under house arrest after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a terrorist group in December last year. He was freed from detention on the orders of the Lahore High Court on June 2. The federal and Punjab governments have filed petitions challenging Saeeds release in the Supreme Court but the hearing of these was put off for an unspecified period after a key legal officer of Punjab province resigned from his post earlier this month.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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