Pak PM Wants Proof From India To Nail Hafiz
Pakistan prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani denied Indian accusations that his government was dragging its feet on booking the prime accused of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, saying the alleged chief architect Hafiz Saeed was very much on trial and the court had to decide when to order his arrest.
But Gilani also reiterated what Islamabad has long used as a shield for inaction, even in the face of credible information on terror groups being supplied by Washington -- that India was not giving it enough information to act against Saeed.
Gilani said Pakistan's judiciary had to take a call on Saeed's arrest. "We need more evidence to (take) him to task," he told an Indian news channel.
Pakistani investigators provided a shot in the arm to the probe when they presented a report before a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court, saying there was sufficient incriminating evidence against seven terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba's operational chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, facing trial for orchestrating the Mumbai attacks.
New Delhi has maintained that Lakhvi was one of the masterminds and that it was important to bring Saeed, the brain behind the carnage, to justice.
The Pakistan PM maintained that his country wouldn't allow its soil to be used for terrorism. "We've given this assurance. We're fighting our own war on terror (and) face Mumbai like attacks on a daily basis."
Gilani pledged to share credible information with India and sought reciprocation from New Delhi to prevent Mumbai-like attacks. "We're ready to share information with India. Let us start sharing more information and work together in the war on terror," he said.
The PM also said India and Pakistan can't afford war and reiterated Islamabad's call for resumption of talks. "Composite dialogue is the only answer to resolve issues," he said, speaking about the peace process derailed by 26/11. Gilani insisted that back channel diplomacy wouldn't be "that useful" and underlined the need for resolving issues and not complicating them.
Gilani also sought to put the IPL controversy behind to build better relations with India. "(We) should move on; cricket diplomacy is important between the neighbours," he said. He said the reaction to the controversy reflected Pakistani parliament and public's mood. "That was the mood, but I'm confident that with time, things will be alright."
Gilani, though, wasn't forthcoming about the Pakistani hockey team's participation in the world cup scheduled to be held in New Delhi next month. "We're considering that but can't comment at the moment," he said.
Gilani claimed that the two countries were ready to discuss "anything", but "tremendous pressure" on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stalled progress in the dialogue after their Sharm-el-Sheikh meeting that kicked up a storm in India. "The meeting was good. He (Singh) really wanted to discuss all issues including water, Siachen, Sir Creek, Kashmir and Balochistan," he said.
Despite repeated rebuttals, Gilani claimed that he was convinced of India's role in fomenting trouble in Balochistan. "I'll share the evidence at an appropriate time."
The Pakistan PM clarified his recent comments on Pakistan's inability to prevent another Mumbai-like attack, saying it was in reaction to some of the Indian leadership's comments. "Your leaders are saying that if there is any incident in future, there is no difference between state and non-state actors which isn't right," he said.
Gilani distanced Islamabad from the recent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and took exception to Indian army's "irresponsible statements". He attributed tension in the state to "an indigenous movement" and insisted that Pakistan was busy in its fight against terror and had nothing to do with it. He maintained that Islamabad wanted a resolution to the Kashmir dispute.