25 November, 2017
Pakistani authorities acting on a court order released a US -wanted militant Friday who allegedly founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai, India attack that killed 168 people, his spokesman and officials said.
"It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non state actors, and its true face is visible for all to see", MEA Raveesh Kumar said during his weekly media breifing on Thursday.
In a 2015 interview, Saeed denied any connection to the Mumbai massacre, telling The Diplomat that "neither Pakistan nor Lashkar-e-Taiba were behind these attacks".
Saeed's release from house arrest came after a court on November 22 rejected the provincial government's request for a 60-day extension to his detention.
The Punjab government official had told the board that the Federal finance ministry has "some important evidence" against Saeed to justify his detention.
Hafiz Saeed has been under house arrest since January this year and was detained after vast pressure on the federal government by the United States (USA) and severe reservations by India.
Saeed, however, said Sharif deserved to be removed for his peace overtures with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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On January 31, Saeed and his four aides Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997. "I was detained on the pressure of the USA on the Pakistani government".
"I fight for the case of Kashmiris". Saeed was also seen cutting a cake and distributing candies among his supporters in celebration of his release.
Saeed said that he was detained when he announced a month of solidarity for Kashmiris in January. India claims the attackers were in contact with people in Pakistan when the assault was underway.
Saeed has long campaigned in support of Muslim separatists in the Indian-ruled portion of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, which Pakistan also claims. Pakistan's Punjab government however had sought a three-month extension in his detention saying that the country may face worldwide sanctions if the JuD was released from house arrest.
Challenging India's disagreement over releasing him, Hafiz Saeed said that India did everything to keep him under arrest but all the efforts are in vain.
India and the United States expressed concern at his release, calling for Saeed to be prosecuted over the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including Americans.