Sunday, August 02, 2009

Terrorism: Enough evidence for Pakistan to prosecute Hafiz Saeed

Indian government officials say they have given Pakistan more details from their investigation of last year's Mumbai terrorist attacks, in the hope that this will prompt Pakistan to prosecute a suspected mastermind of the plot.

India's home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, told reporters Saturday that Pakistan now has received four packets of information and evidence about the attacks eight months ago, which killed 166 people.

The Indian minister said all of Pakistan's previous questions about the investigation now have been answered, and that there is enough evidence for Pakistan to prosecute Hafiz Saeed,(photo) believed to be a central planner of the three-day terrorist siege in Mumbai.

Saeed heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, a reported front for the Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in Pakistan, which is accused of carrying out the attacks on India. The bloodshed severely strained relations between India and Pakistan, and brought the two nuclear-armed neighbors' slow-moving peace process to a halt.

Pakistan put Saeed under house arrest in December, but he was released in June by a court that ruled there was insufficient evidence against him. He is one of 38 people, including Pakistani nationals, who India says were the key figures in planning the guns-and-grenades attacks.

India says all 10 gunmen involved in the assault on Mumbai were Pakistanis. Officials in Islamabad have conceded the attacks were planned, in part on Pakitani territory, but they deny India's assertion that Pakistani government agents were involved.

The lone surviving Mumbai gunman, Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, testified in court that he was "waging war" against India at the time.

Pakistan has filed police complaints against at least five suspects, and is searching for at least a dozen others in the case.

Published with the permission of Voice of America
Published by Mike Hitchen,
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