India on Thursday dismissed the recent arrest of 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed as a mere “drama”.
“This has not been the first time that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested or detained. This drama has taken place at least eight times since 2001,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Kumar, who was addressing media here, said: “The question is whether this time it would be more than a cosmetic exercise and whether Saeed will be tried and sentenced for his terrorist activities.”
Kumar noted that Pakistan’s sincerity to take action against terrorists and terror groups would be judged on the basis of their ability to demonstrate “verifiable, credible and irreversible actions against terrorists and to disrupt and dismantle terror groups operating from their soil.”
“We hope that this time Hafiz Saeed will genuinely be brought to justice,” added Kumar.
Similar views were echoed by analysts in Washington on Wednesday, who saw Saeed’s arrest as a major cosmetic move ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden official visit to the United States.
Saeed’s arrest had long been sought by New Delhi and Washington over the ghastly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Kumar pointed out that Pakistan is obliged to take effective action against Saeed and his terrorist organisation under the United Nations mandate.
“We reiterate that Hafiz Saeed is a designated terrorist, the mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks and listed by the United Nations Sanctions Committee under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267,” he said.
“Effective action mandated internationally against Hafiz Saeed and his terrorist organizations is an obligation on part of all UN Member states, including Pakistan,” added Kumar.
He said Hafiz Saeed and his front organisations LeT and JuD recruit hundreds and thousands of persons and motivate and indoctrinate them on a violent agenda against India.
“The FATF has drawn attention to the clear evidence that organisations supported by Saeed continue to be involved in supporting and financing terror activities,” added Kumar.