India to mobilise global pressure over 26/11 mastermind’s release (Lead)

June 3rd, 2009 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) India Wednesday conveyed to Pakistan its “disappointment” over the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and said it was in touch with the international community to pressurise Pakistan to act against terrorism.
“We conveyed our disappointment at the release of Saeed,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters after his meeting with Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik.

The Pakistani envoy had sought a meeting with Menon a day after Saeed was released by Lahore High Court, a move that elicited angry reaction from India.

Malik told Menon about the actions taken by the Pakistan government against the suspected perpetrators of the Nov 26 Mumbai carnage that killed over 170 people.

The Pakistani envoy also requested that some portions of court-certified evidence India had provided in its dossier on the Mumbai attacks be translated into English and handed over to Islamabad.

India agreed to the request as it had given Pakistan documents which were in Marathi language.

The envoy said the Pakistan government was considering legal options to appeal against the court order to release Saeed, who had been put under house arrest Dec 11 for its suspected involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

He, however, said any decision on this issue will be taken only after getting the text of the court verdict.

Saeed, an Islamist ideologue who often preaches hatred against India in his fiery Friday sermons at the JuD headquarters in Muridke near Lahore, had been detained nearly six months ago after the United Nations declared the JuD a terrorist group.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna termed the release of Saeed as disturbing.

“The developments are disturbing. We are closely monitoring the developments,” Krishna told reporters when asked to comment on the release of Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba that has morphed into JuD after it was banned in 2001.

Krishna added that India wanted to normalise relations with Pakistan and would try to do so through diplomatic channels.

Menon, however, stressed that although India wanted good relations with Pakistan, the process of normalisation of relations will be affected so long as terrorism against India continues from Pakistan’s territory.

India is in touch with its friends in the international community over Saeed’s release, which, according to New Delhi, demonstrated the lack of Pakistan’s sincerity in taking action against terrorism emanating from its territory.

India will also press the UN to include the names of four other Pakistani nationals in the list of terrorists and terrorist entities.

Hours after the release of Saeed, Krishna Tuesday met US’ Charge d’Affaires A. Peter Burleigh and discussed terrorism in Pakistan.

The Mumbai attacks and Pakistan’s perceived inaction against plotters and perpetrators of the Mumbai terror spree will figure prominently in discussions between India and the US when US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns comes to New Delhi next week.

The issue will be also discussed when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits India in July.

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