ibnlive » India

Aug 27, 2009 at 08:09am IST

Pak under pressure over RCN against Saeed

New Delhi: The pressure is on Islamabad after Interpol issued Red Corner Notices against Lashkar-e-Toiba founder and Jammat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, his operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Blue Corner Notices against 19 others including a Pakistani army Colonel Saadatullah.

New Delhi says the Red Corner Notice has vindicated its claim and that Islamabad is now bound to take action against Saeed.

The Interpol notice is a shot in the arm for India's flagging efforts to get Pakistan to move against the 26/11 attackers.

In response to an Indian request that Saeed be handed over to India, Interpol on Tuesday issued a Red Corner Notice against the Mumbai attack mastermind and also against Lashkar operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is under trial at Rawalpindi.

India now awaits an Interpol notice against another Lashkar operative Zarar Shah.

The notices signalled India's reworked strategy to target Saeed with the argument being that if Pakistan was serious about tackling terrorism the Interpol notices give it the opportunity.

Until now Indian diplomatic sources have warned that Pakistan has shown little sincerity to tackle terrorism.

"We have painstakingly collected evidence to convey the involvement of these persons and it is very unfortunate that Pakistan has rejected those dossiers. With the Red Corner Notice, now it is clear that Pakistan should act," says External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

The Interpol notice increases the diplomatic and psychological pressure on Islamabad to move against Saeed but it's doubtful if it does anything more than that.

The Red Corner Notice is not an arrest warrant and Interpol cannot force Pakistan to arrest Saeed.

Pakistan has never bothered to implement Red Corner Notices issued against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

Interpol notices are also subject to the jurisdiction of local Pakistani courts.

"It is only one step of the process. It is premature to celebrate," warns Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.

Interpol has also issued Blue Corner Notices against one Colonel Saadatullah and 19 others. The notices are basically a request for information.

But the irony is inescapable. For India's campaign to succeed Saeed's friends and allies in Islamabad must be ready and willing to play ball.