Saeed unlikely to be focus of talks with Indian PM, says Zardari
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD ON the eve of his India visit, President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said he did not expect the issue of Hafiz Saeed to be the focus of his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, amid growing pressure on Pakistan to prosecute the LeT founder for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
“My stance on Saeed is not different from that of my government.
My visit to India is of a religious nature and I do not think Manmohan Singh will make me sit (and discuss only) this issue,” Zardari told reporters in a lighter vein at the Governor’s House in Lahore.
56-year-old Zardari, who flies to India on Sunday for a luncheon meeting with Singh followed by a visit to Ajmer, in northwestern Indian state Rajasthan, to pay obeisance at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, has been camping in Lahore for the past few days.
He was responding to questions on his meeting with Singh against the backdrop of a USD 10 million bounty offered by the US for information leading to Saeed’s prosecution.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has already said in Parliament that the case of Saeed is an “internal issue” of Pakistan.
Gilani further said that any evidence against Saeed should be provided to Pakistan so that it can be examined by the country’s independent judiciary.
In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Zardari will invite Singh to visit Pakistan by the end of this year during their meeting in New Delhi.