India On Hafiz Saeed’s Party Fighting Polls

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'Serious Security Implications': India On Hafiz Saeed's Party Fighting Polls

Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks.

New Delhi:

Stating that the normalisation of “radical elements” in Pakistan has been a part of Islamabad’s state policy, the Ministry of External Affairs said a political party backed by 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed contesting polls has “serious security implications” for the region.

Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Friday that New Delhi continues to monitor every development having an implication for national security.

“The issue of radical elements normalised and participating in elections in Pakistan…it is an internal affair so let me not comment on it. But, the mainstreaming of radical outfits in Pakistan is nothing new and has been a part of their state policy for a long time,” Mr Bagchi said, ¬†addressing the weekly Ministry of External Affairs briefing.

He added, “Such developments have a serious security implication for the security of our region. For our part, we continue to monitor every development that has implications for our national security”.

Muhammad Hafiz Saeed, who is a UN-proscribed terrorist, is the founder of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He was the mastermind of the deadly 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and is wanted in India in numerous cases.

Meanwhile, in a development that has led to heavy criticism for Islamabad, the Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML), a political entity founded Hafiz Saeed has fielded candidates for every national and provincial assembly constituency across Pakistan for the upcoming general elections slated to be held on February 8, 2024.

Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed is also going to contest the polls from National Assembly’s constituency NA-127, Lahore, while PMML’s central president Khalid Masood Sindhu is taking part from NA-130, against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo and former PM Nawaz Sharif.

Saeed, who has been in jail since July 17, 2019, for other charges, was sentenced in April 2022 by a special anti-terrorism court in Lahore, Pakistan, to a jail term of 33 years for “financing terrorism.”

Despite being designated a terrorist by the UN and EU in the 2000s, Saeed was neither charged nor extradited over nearly two decades.

Saeed was designated as a terrorist by the United Nations Security Council in December 2008.

Meanwhile, India has also conveyed a request to the Pakistan government regarding the extradition of Hafiz Saeed to India for facing trial in a particular case. MEA said that New Delhi has conveyed the request with all relevant supporting documents.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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