Saeed acquittal: Qureshi says Pak respects judiciary's decision

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Istanbul (Turkey), June 8 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister today rejected and rebutted India's criticism over the acquittal of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, seen by New Delhi as one of the key masterminds behind the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai.

Qureshi told ANI on the sidelines of the CICA-Asia summit that just as India had a respect for its judicial system, so did Pakistan. He said all legal proceedings related to Saeed had been presented before the courts of the country, and it was their decision to acquit, not the government's.

He also rejected New Delhi's view of Islamabad presenting a weak case to the courts on the 26/11 mayhem that claimed the lives of 166 persons and Saeed's role in it.

"We have to respect the judicial process, and as in India, in Pakistan, we respect the decisions of judiciary," Qureshi said.

Qureshi's reaction came almost a fortnight after Indian External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna, who is due to visit Islamabad in July, said that he was disappointed over Saeed's acquittal and release by Pakistan's Supreme Court.

Krishna said then that New Delhi had provided Islamabad with nough evidence to prosecute Saeed.

"The (Pakistan) Supreme Court has come to certain conclusion on the basis of whatever evidence, I do not know, what were the kind of evidences which were produced before the court of law," said Krishna in Bangalore.

"But based on our dossiers, which we have provided, our legal experts feel that those dossiers contain enough evidence to prosecute and then get a conviction on the basis of evidence which could be further marshalled on the basis of facts, which we have provided to them," he added.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had also expressed New Delhi's disappointment over Saeed being let off by Pakistan's courts.

"India hopes Pakistan will take meaningful action against Saeed. We are disappointed over at Saeed being let off by Pakistan," Rao said at a press conference in Delhi.

"We hope Pakistan will not let Saeed walk free. India has given enough proof to Pakistan on Saeed," she added.

Rao further said Saeed has openly preached jihad against India.

The Pakistan Government had challenged Saeed"s release by a High Court last year.

Pakistan"s apex court quashed the appeal, saying the government had failed to provide sufficient evidence against Saeed.

Earlier last year, the Lahore High Court had released Saeed on grounds of insufficient evidence, prompting the government to appeal to the Supreme Court for his re-arrest. (ANI)

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