United States concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed
Nov 27, 2017, 01:05
"He was not only the mastermind, he was the prime organizer of the Mumbai terror attacks in which many innocent Indians and many people from other nationalities were killed", spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10 million USA bounty on his head over the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including Americans, spoke at Friday prayers after being freed from house arrest by a court that said there was no evidence to hold him.
In a strongly worded statement, the White House said Saeed's release, after Pakistan's failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a "deeply troubling message" about Pakistan's commitment to combating worldwide terrorism and "belies Pakistani claims" that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil. "It is the responsibility of the Pakistani government to fulfil its worldwide obligations and take action against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed", External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
The Punjab Home Department was against the release of Hafiz Saeed.
In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. "They play everyone, whether it's China or the terrorists or us". "Since 2012, the United States has offered a USA $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice". India and the USA said there was sufficient evidence, though this was something prosecutors in Pakistan denied. They say that while Jamaat-ud-Dawa may indeed perform charitable activities, it is also a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan militant group which became notorious for strikes on Indian targets, including a 2001 attack on its parliament in Delhi.
Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement but had previously been detained twice briefly following the attacks. His situation under house arrest is not irksome; Mr Saeed has a large property in Lahore and is protected not only by his own armed guards but by armed police officers.
Earlier, India had slammed Pakistan for its decision to release Mumbai attack mastermind who was under house arrest for ten months. "The release of Saeed is a step in the wrong direction", she said. "I tell him he was ousted because he committed treason against Pakistan by developing friendship with (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi", he said, warning the PML (N) government not to "take dictation from the U.S. and other countries and take its own decisions".
For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the USA for not doing enough in their counterterrorism efforts to end the Afghan war - the longest military engagement in America's history.
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