New Delhi: India on Monday hit out at Pakistan for its remarks that Hafiz Saeed had no case against him and he was free to roam, saying the designated terrorist was the "evil" mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks and it is Pakistan's responsibility to bring the chief of terror outfit JuD to book and deliver justice.
"Our views on Hafiz Saeed are very clear. To us, he is the evil mastermind of the attacks on Mumbai and one of the accused in an Indian court for killings on streets of Mumbai. We have repeatedly asked Pakistan that he should be apprehended and taken through normal judicial process.
"Alas! He has never been arrested on account of 26/11. Therefore.... he is only free because he is a Pakistani citizen," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here.
The sharp reaction by India came within hours of Pakistan high commission Abdul Basit's remarks that "Hafiz Saeed is a Pakistani national so he is free to roam around. So what is the problem...he is a free citizen so there is no issue as far as Pakistan is concerned. Courts have already exonerated him. There is no case pending against him."
Asked about Pakistan's stand that there was not enough evidence to prove his involvement, the MEA spokesperson said, "99 per cent evidence in this case is in Pakistan. That is because the entire conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan. The planning for this dastardly act was done in Pakistan.
"The financing for this act was undertaken in Pakistan and people involved who were involved in this were from Pakistan. Therefore, it has always been our view that it devolves on Pakistan that it ensures that criminals like Hafiz Saeed were brought to book and justice was delivered in the instance of crime in Mumbai."
166 people were killed in the terror strike in Mumbai in 2008. New Delhi has also protested the delay in the on-going trial of the case in Pakistan.
Recently, Saeed, known for his anti-India tirade and designated as a terrorist by the US, has also accused India of indulging in "water-terrorism".