Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks
Trump admin cracks down on release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, warns Pakistan of repercussions
Author

27 November, 2017

Pakistan has justified the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, accused of by India and the USA of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai massacre, by claiming that Islamabad remains committed to the implementation of UNSC sanctions regime on terrorists and has taken several steps in this regard. Nauert said Saeed leads Lashkar-e-Taiba, "a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens".

U.S. administration has expressed "deep concern" on the release of designated terrorist: Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and founder of Jamaat-ud-Dawah Hafiz Saeed by Pakistani authorities and asked Islamabad to ensure his re-arrest and slap charge for his crimes.

The review board of Lahore High court had recently refused to accept Pakistan government's plea to extend Hafiz Saeed's house arrest saying his release will enhance tension with India.

Hafiz Saeed, whose house arrest in January was seen as a signal of a broader shift in Pakistan's treatment of extremists, was freed before dawn the city of Lahore, according to Hafiz Abdul Rauf, a spokesman for the Islamist cleric's charity. "The Pakistani government now has an opportunity to demonstrate its seriousness in confronting all forms of terrorism, without distinction, by arresting and charging Hafiz Saeed for his crimes", the White House said.

The Punjab Home Department was against the release of Hafiz Saeed.

The Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the United States, since 2012, has offered a Dollars 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice, Sanders said.

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Saeed, who carries a $10 million bounty announced by the United States for his role in terror activities, made the comment to supporters gathered outside his Lahore residence.

After the attack on the Indian commercial capital, Pakistan was put under intense pressure to detain and prosecute Mr Saeed.

"Nawaz Sharif asks why he was ousted?"

While some in Pakistan may wish to see Mr Saeed placed on trial, there is widespread suspicion among Indian and U.S. officials that he still retains close links to the country's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been long blamed for sponsoring numerous cross-border attacks on Indian targets.

"Just as I am free today, Kashmir will also be free one day", Saeed said after midnight Thursday. "I tell him he was ousted, because he committed treason against Pakistan by developing friendship with Modi, killers of thousands of Muslims", Saeed said. That came about after Pakistani military's purported rescue of American hostage Caitlan Coleman and her family after five years of Taliban captivity.


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