Want to see Hafiz Saeed brought to justice: US
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the US` desire that Pakistan secure the conviction of the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in connection with the Mumbai attack was the reason why it recently announced a reward of USD 10 million to anyone for information leading to his trial in a court of law.
"We have been very clear why this program, particularly our Rewards for Justice program, was put in place. We want to see this individual brought to justice," Toner told reporters.
"As you remember at the time, there was a lot of speculation of why we did this because everyone knows he`s in Pakistan. What we want to do is give the Pakistani authorities the judicial wherewithal to bring this guy to justice," he said.
"At the time we used the phrase, and continue to use, evidence that can withstand judicial scrutiny. Whether he is tried in a Pakistani court or in a US court or wherever, we want to see him brought to justice," Toner said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now on a visit to India said yesterday the US would push Pakistan for securing the conviction of Saeed, observing that country has not done as much as US and India wanted it to fight terrorism.
Clinton said she was "well aware that there has not yet been the steps taken by the Pakistani government" that could help in securing Saeed`s conviction. "We`re going to be pushing that point. So it`s a way of raising the visibility and pointing out to those who are associated with him that there is a cost for that," Clinton said at an interactive session in Kolkata.
"You have to go after those who are trying to kill you. You have to be focussed on that…We want everybody who is associated with that(Mumbai attack) brought to justice. And it may take longer than any one of us like. But we are going to be standing with you and trying to make that happen," Clinton had said.
Responding to questions, Toner denied news reports that the US-Pak relationship is now at a standstill. "I don`t think it`s fair to say right now that everything is at a standstill with Pakistan. We have had a series of high-level meetings over the past month to two months that we believe is laying the groundwork for renewed cooperation," he noted.
"We have had this parliamentary review completed. We had Ambassador Grossman over there talking to Pakistani officials. And our counterterrorism cooperation has continued throughout this period. We don`t see eye-to-eye with Pakistan on every issue; that`s for sure. But I think we have approached the outcome of this parliamentary review with an open mind.I think we are willing to discuss all the issues that were raised by it, but that dialogue`s really just begun," Toner said.