India asks Pakistan to extradite Mumbai attacks suspect Hafiz Saeed

Hafiz Saeed

NEW DELHI: India has formally requested Pakistan to extradite Hafiz Saeed, suspected of involvement in the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, for trial in India, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters in a briefing on Friday.

“We have conveyed a request along with relevant supporting documents to the government of Pakistan,” Bagchi told reporters.

Hafiz Saeed is the founder and leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group that India and the US accuse of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans. India has demanded his extradition from Pakistan, where he runs a charity network that the UN says is a front for LeT. India has also offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction.

Pakistan, however, denies any state involvement in the Mumbai attacks and says it needs “irrefutable and legally tenable evidence” to prosecute Saeed. Pakistan says that Saeed is a Pakistani and a victim of Indian propaganda and that his charity work is legitimate and humanitarian.

The case of Saeed has been a major source of tension and mistrust between India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed rivals that have fought three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947. The US and other countries have urged both sides to cooperate in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice and to prevent further violence.

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