India has asked Pakistan to take strict action against Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon and terror leader Maulana Masood Azhar, who are named in a list of 20 wanted terrorists handed over to Islamabad by New Delhi.
The list of fugitives was discussed at a meeting of political leaders chaired in Islamabad on Tuesday night by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to evolve national consensus on a course of action to deal with tensions with India in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai.
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Former federal minister and Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told reporters after the meeting that the names of Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar and Tiger Memon figured in the list. However, he did not say what course of action the meeting had suggested on India's demand to hand over the 20 wanted men.
Indian security officials have linked the Lashker-e-Taiba to the Mumbai attacks. Hours before the attacks, India has
suggested during the talks between the home secretaries of the two countries in Islamabad that they should priorities action against persons for whom the Interpol had issued Red Corner Notices.
A Red Corner notice has been issued for Dawood Ibrahim, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 bombings in Mumbai that killed nearly 260 people.
Hafiz Saeed, an engineer-turned-militant ideologue, formed the Jamat-ud-Dawah after Pakistan banned the Lashker-e-Tayiba. The Jamat has its headquarters at Muridke near Lahore and has stepped up its activities since Pervez Musharraf stepped down as President.
Masood Azhar, a Pakistani national, formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed after he was freed by India in exchange for passengers of an Indian Airlines flight hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in 1999. Recent reports have suggested
that the Jaish has stepped up its activities in Bahawalpur, where its headquarters are located.
Prime Minister Gilani has said that his government will consider taking action against Hafiz Saeed if evidence is provided against him. "Let the proof come and we'll look into it," he told NDTV.
Asked if it would be a "goodwill gesture" if the Pakistan government arrested Hafiz Saeed, he replied: "We have assured full cooperation. Therefore the cabinet has decided for cooperation with India and a probe."