New Delhi: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today reiterated that India remains firm on its demand that Islamabad must hand over 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and all other plotters of the Mumbai attacks to New Delhi. Mr Shinde's remarks came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Washington that according to her, the task of bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks remains an "unfinished business."
"I think it is unfinished business that we are not in any way walking away from. I'm leaving office but I can assure you and the Indian people that this remains one of our very highest priorities," Ms Clinton said at a "Global Townhall" held on Tuesday. (Watch the interview here)
"We were successful in capturing and eliminating a number of the most dangerous terrorists who have safe haven inside Pakistan. We have continued to press the Pakistani Government, because of course the terrorists inside Pakistan are first and foremost an ongoing threat to the stability of Pakistan, and they need to deal with it because of that, as well as implications for India, Afghanistan, United States and elsewhere," she added.
Saeed, the founder of terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, continues to live freely in Pakistan despite India's repeated demands for his arrest. He is often seen addressing anti-India rallies in Islamabad.
Pakistan arrested Saeed thrice after India's allegations against him, but on all occasions he was let off by the court due to lack of evidence.
Earlier this month, after LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley was sentenced to 35 years in jail by a US court for his role in the 26/11 attacks, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had sent out a strong message to Pakistan saying there could not be "any form of closure" to the Mumbai attacks unless all perpetrators, including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, were brought to book.
He had also said that India was disappointed with the US for not pursuing the case against the LeT chief aggressively and added that he hoped the US would take the issue further.
When asked about her take on the role played by the US, Ms Clinton also said she was "not satisfied" with the progress made by her county.
"I'm not satisfied, you know, as I told you in Kolkata, that I believe going after terrorism is an obligation of every country everywhere, every sensible person...We are not giving up, we are on this job literally every single day," she said.