Bangalore, 6 April 2012. Ahead of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India on Sunday, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Friday said though New Delhi gave details to Islamabad of the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the neighbouring country chose not to act.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram provided to Pakistan a dossier containing details of Saeed’s involvement in the planning and execution of the 2008 attacks, Mr. Krishna told reporters here.
The U.S. has announced a $10-million bounty on Saeed’s head and India has welcomed it.
Asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement that the Saeed matter was an “internal issue” and if there was any concrete proof against him, then it should be provided to his country, Mr. Krishna said: “So no amount of denial would exonerate them unless there is a judicial inquiry into the whole episode whereby responsibilities can be fixed.
But unfortunately, Pakistan had not thought it proper to investigate this.”
Asked whether the Saeed issue would figure during a lunch to be hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in honour of Mr. Zardari, Mr. Krishna said major bilateral issues would be discussed during the talks. “This is a private visit by President Zardari to India and he is coming on a religious mission to Ajmer and I do not know whether they will have enough time to go into greater details,” he noted.
Ties between the two countries had been looking up in the last couple of years although a number of issues were yet to be resolved, he said.
On Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to India last year, he said she had stated that there was a “change in mindset” in Pakistan towards India.
On China’s objection to India exploration for oil in the disputed areas in the South China Sea, Mr. Krishna said, “South China Sea is the property of the world. The Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) and China had accepted it.”
Mr. Krishna said he would seek details of the British government’s decision to discontinue a provision that allowed Indian students to work in the U.K. for two years after completion of their courses as part of drive to cut immigration. “I have asked the High Commissioner to brief me on the issue,” he said.
Under the Tier 1 (post-study work) route, Indian and other non-EU students were able to work for two years in the U.K. after completing their university courses. This route was closed from Friday.
This was popular among self-financing Indian students who sought to recover some of the study expenses by working for two years.