Washington: A former United States diplomat has described Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's statement to support 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed as "alarming."
"Very alarming statement by Pakistan PM because Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist," said Zalmay Khalilzad, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
In an interview to a television channel on Tuesday, Pakistan PM openly supported Saeed, the Jamaat-ud Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Toiba co-founder. Referring to him as "Hafiz Saeed sahab (Sir)", Abbasi said that there is no case in the country against the JuD chief.
Supporting India's fight against terrorism, Khalilzad said, "Time has come for the world to cooperate and India needs to take a leading role with us in orchestrating a global response on Pak to take concrete actions to increase pressure."
Meanwhile, former Pakistan Diplomat Husain Haqqani said that the Pakistan PM furnish proofs of his claim that there is no substantial evidence to try and convict 26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, reported ANI.
"I think that the international community has offered evidence, and, if the Pakistan Prime Minister feels there is no substantial evidence against Hafiz Saeed, then he should talk to the international community," said Haqqani on the sidelines of the ongoing Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.
Saeed, who was released from house arrest by a Pakistan court last year, is a designated international terrorist with a bounty of $10 million on his head.
Unhappy over his release, the US froze a $255-million military aid to Pakistan, accusing the country of sheltering terrorists and militant outfits.
Ignoring all warnings from the Pakistan government, Saeed said opened the first political office of Milli Muslim League (MML) in Lahore district.