India on Friday said the world community believes Pakistan is not serious about prosecuting Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and others involved in planning and executing the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Pakistani authorities had arrested seven men, including LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people. However, their trial has been stalled for several years and Lakhvi was freed on bail in 2015. No formal charges were filed against Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the attacks.
“Now, it is the responsibility of Pakistan to take action. They have shied away in the past, citing different excuses, which is not working,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a weekly news briefing.
“Among the global community, there is a feeling that Pakistan is not serious about taking action against those who are involved in the Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.
Kumar added: “We all know who the perpetrators were in the attacks, we all know who the mastermind is. We are also aware that the mastermind of this attack is roaming freely, he is enjoying Pakistan’s hospitality and we are also aware of the link this attack had with the elements within the Pakistani establishment.”
He said Pakistan has “a certain obligation and a certain responsibility” and “an international obligation to take action”. India had shared all the evidence against the perpetrators of the attacks with Pakistan, he said.
Saeed and several of his aides were recently charged in a separate case of terror financing, though experts believe Pakistan resorted to this step to stave off pressure from bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to crack down on fund-raising by terrorist groups.
Kumar also told the briefing that India is in touch with Pakistan for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court for alleged involvement in espionage. Following a petition from India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Pakistan had violated Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relation. The ICJ also stayed Jadhav’s execution and directed Pakistan to review his case.
After the verdict, Pakistan granted India consular access to Jadhav for the first time since he was held in 2016.
Noting that he didn’t want to disclose details of the discussions with Pakistan, Kumar said India had sought “immediate, effective and unhindered consular access” to Jadhav in light of the ICJ’s judgement. “There is some communication which is going on between India and Pakistan on this issue,” he said.