Hafiz Saeed case is Pakistan's 'internal issue': Gilani
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the matter of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba founder Hafiz Saeed is an "internal issue" and if there is any concrete proof against the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief then it should be provided to them.
Gilani also cautioned that at a time when Pakistan's parliament is framing new rules of engagement for the United States, such "negative messages would increase the trust deficit". He made the remarks on Thursday while responding to points raised by lawmakers during a joint session of the national assembly and senate about the $ 10 million bounty offered by the US for Saeed, the LeT founder.
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Image: Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa and founder of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, is surrounded by his supporters as he leaves after a news conference in Rawalpindi near Islamabad
'If there is any concrete proof against Saeed provide it to Pak'
He said this was an internal issue of Pakistan and "if there is any concrete proof against Saeed then it should be provided to Pakistan, which has an independent judiciary".
The prime minister pointed out that cases against Saeed were dismissed in the past due to lack of evidence.
Gilani told lawmakers that he had taken up the issue of the bounty with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides during a meeting on Wednesday. He said he had informed Nides that at a time when Pakistan's parliament is framing new rules of
engagement for the US, such "negative messages would increase the trust deficit".
Image: A JuD supporters during an anti-US rally in Lahore
'US should have informed Pak before taking decision on bounty'
Gilani further said he had telephoned main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif and taken him into confidence on the government's position on the issue of the bounty.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the joint session of parliament that she too had discussed the issue of the bounty with Nides. She said she had told the American delegation that Saeed was a Pakistani citizen and the US should have informed Pakistan before taking such a decision.
Image: US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R Nides and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar talk with their delegations during a meeting at the foreign ministry in Islamabad