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Ask Pakistan to act against Hafiz Saeed: Congress, BJP to PM

Author: CNN-IBN
Publication: IBNLive.com
Date: April 7, 2012
URL: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ask-pak-to-act-against-saeed-cong-bjp-to-pm/246696-3.html

The Congress as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ask for strict action against Lashkar-e-Toiba founder and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks plotter Hafiz Saeed when he meets Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

The BJP raised the stakes ahead of Zardari's India visit on Sunday by demanding that India should take up the twin issues of Hafiz Saeed and Sarabjit Singh with the Pakistani leader.

BJP MLA Tarun Vijay has said India must convey its concerns on 26/11 suspect Hafiz Saeed to President Zardari. "He is on a personal visit. We welcome his visit. Zardari is himself in a problem in his country. India must convey his concerns regarding terrorists who are being shielded in Pakistan," said Vijay.

Commenting on the recent turn of events related to Hafiz Saeed, Vijay said, "Hafiz Saeed is India's criminal. It is ironical that US has announced for an award. This should be definitely conveyed to Zardari when he arrives in India. Sarabjit Singh should also be discussed this time."

Congress, too, applied the pressure. Congress Spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, "Saeed must be handed over to India."

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said, "If Indo-Pak relations are to improve, Hafiz Saeed should be handed over to the court."

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi, members of the Cabinet Committee on Security as well as opposition leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj have been invited for Zardari's lunch with Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna commented that no amount of denial by Pakistan could exonerate Saeed. The remarks came days after the US announcement of a $10 million bounty on Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamat-ud-Dawa chief. Saeed operates openly in Pakistan, giving anti-India public speeches. The US decision has renewed pressure on Islamabad to take action against him.

Both Pakistani authorities and Saeed have been defiant telling the US that he not hiding and that there was no concrete evidence to link him with acts of terror.

Zardari's 47-member delegation would include his son Bilawal, interior minister Rehman Mallik and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the two sides would also talk about progress in trade ties and the way forward on Kashmir.

Zardari and Singh would meet to discuss issues of constructive engagement and regional peace. Zardari had last visited the Sufi shrine with his late wife Benazir in 2005.
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