Hand over Hafeez Saeed: India to ask Pakistan during Rehman Malik's visit

Hand over Hafeez Saeed: India to ask Pakistan during Rehman Malik's visit
New Delhi:  India will press for handing over of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed during the visit of Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik beginning December 14.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he told Mr Malik, when they met in Maldives on the sidelines of a SAARC inter-ministerial conference in September this year, that Saeed was moving freely in Pakistan and he should be handed over to India.

"I have been telling him and I will still insist....We have told them openly as well as through official communication. I am quite sure that when he will come here, I will discuss this issue with him," he said at a press conference in Delhi today.

Mr Shinde said he will also seek voice samples of the handlers of the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 that left 166 people dead.

"I had talked to him (Malik) on a number of occasions on the voice samples (of handlers of 26/11 terrorists). We have requested them many times. Not only in Maldives, but also at the Interpol conference (in Rome)," he said.

"Here also, I will mention it. There is nothing wrong. I will mention that. He will come on December 14 and stay here till 16th," the Home Minister said.

Mr Shinde, however, declined to comment on the legal proceedings related to 26/11 case going on in that country saying the matter was subjudice.

"I can't say I am satisfied. It is legal matter. I can't comment on legal matters," he said. India has voiced concern over the slow pace of trial in Pakistan.

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan is conducting trial of seven Pakistanis charged with involvement in the 2008 strikes. During the day Mr Shinde said that Mr Malik has written to him confirming his visit from December 14 to 16.

Earlier, Mr Malik was to visit the country from December 11 to 13 during which he was scheduled to travel to Agra to spend a day at the Taj Mahal on December 12, which is also his birthday.

Sources, however, said as December 13 is the 11th anniversary of the Parliament attack, carried out by Pakistani terrorists, Mr Malik might have chosen to avoid being in India on that day.

Both India and Pakistan will also operationalise the liberalised visa agreement during Mr Malik's visit. The new visa regime will replace a 38-year-old restrictive accord and will pave the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people-to-people contact and trade.

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