Washington, May 8 (IANS) The United States has reiterated that it wants Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, to be brought to justice whether he’s tried in Pakistan, the US court or wherever.
Referring to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement in Kolkata about the US desire to see all those involved in the 26/11 attacks brought to justice, the State Department Spokesman Mark Toner Monday said: “We want to see this individual brought to justice.”
The US had announced a $10 million bounty on Saeed, head of Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group under its Rewards for Justice programme, “because everyone knows he’s in Pakistan,” he said.
“What we want to do is give the Pakistani authorities the judicial wherewithal to bring this guy to justice,” with “evidence that can withstand judicial scrutiny,” Toner said.
“You know, whether he’s tried in a Pakistani court or in a US court or wherever, we want to see him brought to justice.”
Discounting suggestions that everything was at standstill with Pakistan, Toner said the two countries had a series of high-level meetings over the last couple of months “that we believe is laying the groundwork for renewed cooperation.”
“And our counterterrorism cooperation has continued throughout this period,” he said adding, “You know, we continue to view it as a threat to both our countries, and we want to take steps to work cooperatively with Pakistan.”
Toner said he was “not aware” that Pakistan had formally communicated a request to the US to provide evidence that Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Pakistan as stated by Clinton in India.
Asked if in the last three or four months any information had been communicated to the US that al-Zawahri is in fact in Pakistan or not, he said: “I don’t know that we would discuss that in any case. But I don’t have any comment on that.”
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)