Notwithstanding India's insistence on action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan was today non-committal on action against the mastermind of Mumbai attacks and several other terror strikes in India.
"Same old beaten track," said Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi when asked for his response to India's repeated demand that action should be taken against Saeed in connection with Mumbai attacks.
He said Saeed was arrested twice by Pakistan government but courts let him off "because in the eyes of the judicial process, the evidence against him was not strong enough to keep him locked up. That is a legal process. You have an independent judiciary, so do we."
Asked whether Pakistan was making any efforts to collect evidence against Saeed in connection with terror activities so that he could be tried, Qureshi vaguely said, "Pakistan has, is and will continue to try and collect evidence against any terrorist. We do not want our soil to be used against anyone."
Queried whether it meant that even Saeed would not be allowed to use Pakistani soil against India, he repeated, "anyone...Anyone means anyone."
He, however, refused to name Saeed specifically despite being asked whether it included Saeed.
"How can you arrest someone on hearsay?" was the response of Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Abdul Basit when asked why Pakistan was not taking action against Saeed.
Claiming that Pakistan had "done enough" in punishing Saeed, Basit said he was detained twice but was released. "We have an independent and fair judiciary as is the case in India."
India has given a lot of material to Pakistan detailing Saeed's involvement in various terror activities in India. Pakistan, however, keeps saying that it was not enough.
Agitated over this attitude of Pakistan, prime minister Manmohan Singh recently said there was no need to give any more material about Saeed's terror involvement as proof against him, even that gathered by American agencies, was already in public domain.