Pakistan says the US must provide "concrete evidence" if it wants Islamabad to act against a militant leader Washington has placed a $10 million bounty on. Pakistani foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit said any evidence against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, would have to withstand judicial scrutiny.
He said on Wednesday that this legal route would be preferable to the public discussion sparked by the US bounty announced a day earlier for information leading to Saeed's arrest and conviction.
Saeed taunted the US during a defiant news conference close to Pakistan's military headquarters on Wednesday.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the 61-year-old founder of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six American citizens. He operates openly in Pakistan, giving public speeches and appearing on television talk shows.
Analysts have said Pakistan is unlikely to arrest Saeed because of his alleged links with the country's intelligence agency and the political danger of doing Washington's bidding in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant.
Saeed has used his high-profile status in recent months to lead a protest movement against US drone strikes and the resumption of Nato supplies for troops in Afghanistan sent through Pakistan. Islamabad closed its borders to the supplies in November in retaliation for American airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.