Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

HafizSaeed_PTI

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 US and the United Nations classify Saeed's JuD as a terrorist group and it is alleged to be a front organization for LeT, whose attack on Mumbai led to the death of 166 Indians and foreigners.

After his release, meanwhile, the United States on Friday asked the Pakistan government to make sure that Hafiz Saeed was arrested again and charged for his crimes.

The United States has publicly rebuked Pakistan after it released an Islamist leader accused of organising the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"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".

The day marks nine years since the Maximum City Mumbai witnessed
the deadly 26/11 attack which claimed the lives of more
than 166 people
The day marks nine years since the Maximum City Mumbai witnessed the deadly 26/11 attack which claimed the lives of more than 166 people

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief walked free from his 300-day house arrest on Friday after a review board of the Lahore High Court refused to extend his detention as the Pakistan government failed to convince the court that his release would invite diplomatic and financial hardships for the country.

Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the USA and the United Nations over his alleged role in the November 2008 attacks. LeT and several of its front organisations, leaders and operatives remain under both state department and treasury department sanctions. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Soon thereafter, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Islamabad as well as part of his South Asia visit that took him to New Delhi and Kabul.

Even though Pakistan has been involved in extensive counter-terror and counterinsurgency operations against al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS - the military says it has lost more than 7,000 soldiers battling terrorists since September 11, 2001 - it is often blamed for selectively harboring certain other militant groups.

The White House on Saturday urged Pakistan to arrest Saeed, calling for him to be prosecuted over the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including Americans.

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"Saeed's release, after Pakistan's failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to combatting global terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil", she said.

Yet both India, the U.S. and other countries, accuse Mr Saeed of being being the attack.

"Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been punished for forsaking Kashmiris". Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed treason with Kashmiris. "He wanted friendship with India and completely ignored the Kashmir cause", he said. I want Kashmir's freedom from India and this is my crime.

But the White House denounced the move and said it could damage US-Pakistan relations.

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