News

Pakistan Wants Evidence Against Militant Leader Targeted by US

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, center, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, talks with religious leaders prior to his news conference in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, center, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, talks with religious leaders prior to his news conference in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.

The Pakistani government says it needs "concrete evidence" to move legally against the founder of the militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a day after Washington posted a $10 million bounty on him.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said in a statement Wednesday that Islamabad would prefer to receive evidence against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed than to engage in a public discussion on the issue.

Top U.S. Rewards for Justice Bounties
  • Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida leader - up to $25 million.
  • Abu Du’a, senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq - up to $10 million.
  • Mullah Omar, Taliban leader - up to $10 million.
  • Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks - up to $10 million.
  • Yasin al-Suri, senior al-Qaida facilitator based in Iran - up to $10 million.

In a statement, Basit said that "in a democratic country like Pakistan, where [the] judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny."

Hours earlier, Saeed held a news conference near Pakistan's military headquarters in Rawalpindi, where he publicly taunted the United States.

He said that America should give the reward money to him.  He mocked Washington for placing a bounty on someone whose whereabouts are well known.

The 62-year-old founder of Laskhar-e-Taiba operates openly in Pakistan, appearing on television talk shows and regularly giving public speeches.  Saeed and his extremist organization stand accused of masterminding numerous terror attacks, including the one in India's financial hub four years ago that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

Pakistani authorities held Saeed under house arrest for about six months after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.  He was later released, without charge.  Pakistan’s Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to detain him

In recent months, Saeed has used his high-profile status to help lead a protest movement against Pakistan reopening its border with Afghanistan for NATO supplies. Authorities had closed the border to NATO forces as part of their response to a coalition air strike last November that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Meanwhile, not far from Rawalpindi, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides met with Pakistani officials in the capital Islamabad.  His trip is aimed at repairing diplomatic relations following last year's border incident and the covert U.S. raid into Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan's parliament is currently debating a new framework for ties with Washington in light of recent events.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs