New Delhi: A day after LeT leader Hafiz Saeed mocked the $10 million bounty on his head, the US said that it continues to seek information that could lead to his conviction. The US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland though clarified that Rewards for Justice proposal that was put out against Saeed last year was not a bounty. It was designed to help obtain information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Nuland said they were looking for people in or outside Pakistan to come forward to aid the process. However, she refused the comment on Saeed's recent mocking of the bounty and added that the government would not "dignify" him with a response.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani court on Friday directed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed to establish his case that the government should defend him in a US lawsuit filed by relatives of Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial adjourned the case till March 7 after directing Saeed's counsel to present arguments in the light of international laws to back the JuD leader's contention that he should be provided legal assistance by the government.
The federal government has already informed the High Court that it will only provide legal aid to government officials and two former chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency who have been named in the lawsuit.
Saeed had requested the court to direct the Pakistan government to provide him legal assistance for the lawsuit filed by families of two American Jewish citizens killed in the Mumbai terror attacks.
Amicus curiae Ahmar Bilal Soofi informed the court on Friday that Pakistan, as a member of the United Nations, is bound to implement its resolutions. The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution that named the JuD as a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"India has filed a case in a US court to establish Pakistan's link with Al Qaeda. Any move by the government to provide legal assistance to Hafiz Saeed will simply strengthen the Indian allegations," Soofi said.
The US nationals - Rabbi Gabriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka - were killed in the Mumbai attacks that were carried out by the Pakistan-based LeT.
Their relatives have filed nine claims against LeT members and several ISI officials. They have been accused of providing material support to the attackers.
Saeed has contended that he has the same rights as any other Pakistani citizen and that the government should defend him in the same manner that it is protecting the officials named in the lawsuit.
With additional information from PTI