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Pakistan must probe Saeed's role in 26/11: Chidambaram
Pakistan must question Hafiz Saeed, prime suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks [ Images ], and even "half a step is a good step", Home Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] said on Friday while regretting that no trial has been started against the perpetrators in that country in the last 10 months.

Asked whether Pakistan's move to slap two cases on Saeed was a face-saver, Chidambaram said,"We should take it at face value. Let us see what they do now. Do they interrogate him, do they investigate his role. Let us wait and see. I think it is too early to reach any conclusion. But for me even a half step is a good step."

The Home Minister in an interview to Times Now said "solid" evidence has been provided to Pakistan against Saeed and other accused based on which they can be investigated. He was asked whether India was satisfied with the cases being filed against Saeed for anti-state activities and for raising funds locally.

"Jihad against what? Surely not a jihad against the Pakistan Government. It must be jihad against some other establishment. And I suspect in this case its India. So let them investigate this. I don't care what colour they give to the investigation," he said.

Asked whether Saeed was the Pakistan's man by proxy, Chidambaram said in his position, he cannot criticise another government "except to the extent it hurts us". "We may not be happy with the way the Pakistan Government is structured...Given that fact I would hope that the more responsible elements in the Pakistan Government gain control over the situation and be able to deal with any problem strictly in accordance with law," he said.

The Home Minister said at the moment it was bit of a up and down situation. "They take a step forward and then take two step backwards." Pakistan has taken a step in charging Saeed. I hope they will investigate his role with special reference to 26/11. Let us keep our fingers crossed and let us see what happens," he said.

Asked about US ambassador Timothy J Roemer's meeting with him, Chidambaram said he had not asked for any assurances. He said the US position was quite clear and it understood as much as India did that the dossiers concluded that Saeed is a prime suspect in 26/11 attacks.

"Any government which is wedded to the rule of law is obliged to investigate his role in 26/11," he said. Chidambaram said it was indisputable and incontrovertible that the Mumbai attacks were planned on Pakistan soil and the main players were Pakistanis. "Now we want to know who are the brains, who were the handlers...And why they are not being punished...So let Pakistan demonstrate its determination to punish them," he said.

About the points he conveyed to US during his visit, the Home Minister said he did not ask it to go lean with Pakistan. "I did not ask the US to go lean on Pakistan. To do this or do that. I made this clear in an interview that I gave in Washington after my talks with American leaders. All I did was to tell them what we have done after 26/11 and what according to US Pakistan has not done after 26/11," he said. The Home Minister said, "We have the Afgan-Taliban, we have the Pakistan-Taliban and we have a number of groups LeT, JeM, HM which are targeting India. Now, while for the time being, each one of these groups may have different targets, but we must not fail to note that all of them are fundamentalist groups opposed to liberal democracy and opposed to the political and social way of life that we cherish ? freedom, democracy, republican form of government, a free media, gender equality." He said FBI has not been given access to "anyone or anything or any place" in Pakistan.

"These are matters that are well known. One only needs to hint at these matters. One doesn't need to make a big argument about it and I think Americans as well as some other countries whose nationals were killed, are fully aware that no agency has been given access to anyone or any place in Pakistan," he said while answering whether American agencies were givenaccess to Hafiz Saeed

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