Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday sought "concrete evidence" from the US against top Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) leaders Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Abdul Rehman Makki following the announcement of bounties for them, saying this was necessary to "proceed legally" in the matter.
"Pakistan would prefer to receive concrete evidence to proceed legally rather than to be engaging in a public discussion on this issue," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in response to the US bounties on Saeed and his deputy Makki.
Basit further said that "in a democratic country like Pakistan, where judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny". He did not give further details.
The US has announced a $10 million bounty for Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, making him one of the five most wanted terrorists. The US announced a bounty of $2 million for Makki, who is Saeed's brother-in-law.
The cases of Saeed and Makki are unusual as both of them are not in hiding, unlike other terrorists for whom the US State Department has offered bounties under its Rewards for Justice programme.
A defiant Saeed addressed a news conference this afternoon at a hotel in the garrison city of Rawalpindi located a short distance from the Pakistan Army s General Headquarters and dared the US to carry out a military raid against him like the one that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.