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No solid evidence against Saeed from India: Pak

Islamabad: Pakistan today rejected External Affairs Minister S M Krishna`s remarks that India has provided adequate proof linking Hafiz Saeed to the Mumbai attacks, saying action could be taken against the LeT founder only on the basis of "solid evidence". Reacting to comments made by Krishna in Bangalore, Pakistan`s Foreign Office said India had not given "any solid and significant evidence" against Saeed. The Foreign Office said "action can only be taken on the basis of solid evidence."

"There is nothing concrete and maintainable. From its own Mumbai trial experience, India knows well that hearsay cannot substitute for hard evidence," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told PTI. "It is only the latter that can withstand judicial scrutiny," Basit said.

Earlier in the day, Krishna told the media in Bangalore that the information provided by Home Minister P Chidambaram to the Pakistan government contained "every detail of Hafiz Saeed`s involvement in the planning and execution of the terrorist attack on Mumbai."

Krishna further said, "No amount of denial would exonerate them (Pakistan) unless there is a judicial inquiry into the whole episode whereby responsibilities can be fixed." The exchange over Saeed came just two days before President Asif Ali Zardari`s planned visit to India, where he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch before going to the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

Saeed is back in the spotlight following the announcement of a USD 10 million bounty for him under the US Rewards for Justice programme. The US has included Saeed among the world`s five most wanted terrorists and also offered a USD two million bounty for his deputy, Abdul Rahman Makki.

The Pakistan-based LeT was blamed for the terrorist attacks on India`s financial hub in November 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans. Saeed was detained for about six months after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, the group that he now leads.

Unlike the other terrorists on the US list, Saeed is not in hiding. He has mocked the US bounty, saying the money should be handed over to him as he would himself inform American authorities about his whereabouts.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the case of Saeed was an "internal matter".He further said the US should provide any evidence it has against Saeed to Pakistan so that the country`s courts could examine it and take action.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik too said yesterday that India had not yet provided any "credible evidence" against Saeed. He said the way the US had announced a bounty for Saeed was against international norms and laws.

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