Cost of prosecuting 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed too great, says ex-ISI chief

Former chief of Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) does not think his country will hand over Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in which 164

Published: 22nd May 2018 01:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2018 04:17 AM   |  A+A-

26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Former chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) does not think his country will hand over Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in which 164 people were killed, to India.

Asad Durrani has gone on record to state that the cost of handing over Saeed to India would be “too” great. His conversation with former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief AS Dulat on Saeed and other topics related to India- Pakistan ties—the surgical strikes, Kulbhushan Jadhav, Nawaz Sharif, Kashmir, Hurriyat and Burhan Wani—are part of a new book titled The Spy Chronicles: RAW ISI and the Illusion of Peace.

The book has been written by Dulat, Durrani and senior journalist Aditya Sinha. In a freewheeling talk with Dulat and Sinha about Saeed, Durrani admits that the LeT chief being put under house arrest may have been choreographed to “let the storm blow over” and that he “may be free within six months”.

Saeed was released in November 2017 after 10 months of house arrest. “One would expect that there’s an arrangement with Hafiz Saeed. Isn’t that what happens most of the time?...

The Chilcot Report blames Tony Blair, yet he is still not been hauled up,” Durrani says, while comparing cases pending against Saeed to legal matters against Blair, former prime minister of Britain.

The Chilcot Report, published in 2016, was an inquiry into the 2003 Iraq invasion which found Blair guilty of exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Husein and of going to war before exhausting all peace options.

Durrani also says, “If you prosecute Hafiz Saeed, the first reaction will be: it’s on India’s behalf, you’re hounding him, he’s innocent etc’. The political cost is big, now.” To this, Dulat asks Durrani as what is Saeed’s value in Pakistan, apart from his involvement in terror attacks and the fact that he keeps abusing India. Durrani responds, “The cost of prosecuting him is too great.”

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