Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday rejected India’s criticism of Islamabad’s failure to prosecute and punish the LeT terrorists responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, saying Islamabad would require ”irrefutable and legally tenable evidence” for the ”efficient disposal” of the case.
Delivering the inaugural address at the special meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee in Mumbai, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the key conspirators of the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attacks, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, continue to remain ”protected and unpunished” even today.
He was apparently referring to terrorists like LeT chief Hafiz Saeed remaining unpunished for their role in the Mumbai attacks.
“While one of the terrorists (Ajmal Kasab) was captured alive, prosecuted and convicted by the highest court in India, the key conspirators and planners of the 26/11 terror attacks continue to remain protected and unpunished,” Jaishankar said.
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When it comes to sanctioning terrorists, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been ”regrettably” unable to act in some cases because of ”political considerations”, he said, in an apparent swipe at China, a close ally of Pakistan, which has blocked the UNSC sanction of Pakistan-based terrorists on several occasions.
Reacting to Jaishankar’s veiled attack on Pakistan, the Foreign Office here said, “It is regrettable that India chose to misuse an important Committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to mislead the international community about Pakistan’s role in countering global terrorism.” It said India must remember that the Mumbai attacks case ”is in the court of law and rather than relying on anyone’s whims or wishes, it would require irrefutable and legally tenable evidence for efficient disposal.” Jaishankar said the ”shocking” terror incident was an attack not just on Mumbai, but on the international community.
”In fact, this entire city was held hostage by terrorists, who had entered from across the border,” he said without naming Pakistan.
As many as 140 Indian nationals and 26 citizens from 23 countries lost their lives in the Mumbai terror attacks carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists.
Jaishankar delivered his inaugural session at a special meeting in Mumbai on ‘Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes. The first leg of the event is being held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in south Mumbai. This hotel was one of the places attacked by terrorists during the November 2008 attacks.
India has said repeatedly told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility, and violence.