Wasn’t in touch with Mumbai attacker Kasab: Hafiz Saeed

June 2nd, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Lahore/New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) Hafiz Saeed, the founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that India has blamed for the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem and whose house arrest was annulled by a Pakistani court, Tuesday denied he was ever in touch with Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the carnage.
“Ajmal Kasab has neither been in touch with him nor with his organization,” Geo TV quoted Saeed as saying soon after his release.

Citing lack of evidence, a full bench of the Lahore High Court Tuesday overturned the Dec 11 order placing Saeed under house arrest.

Pakistani government lawyers said they were surprised at the 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 Qaida.

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, Kasab has admitted to being a Pakistani national and to being trained by the LeT for the Mumbai attacks.

The release of Saeed elicited strong reactions from India, which saw it as yet another evidence of Pakistan’s lack of sincerity in bringing the architects and perpetrators of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai carnage to justice. Over 170 people were killed in the attacks.

“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.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. 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.

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