India expresses outrage over Hafiz Saeed's release
25 November, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
Saeed's release was expected to see Washington mount increasing pressure on Pakistan for its alleged support for militant groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The order to release Hafiz Saeed, a key Pakistani figure heading a leading anti-India terrorist outfit, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the progenitor of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, from detention on Wednesday is likely to push India-Pakistan relations into deeper freeze.
"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
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The decision to put Saeed under house arrest in January was seen as a response to actions by US President Donald Trump's White House against nations deemed linked to terrorism.
Several JuD supporters, gathered outside Saeed's house in Lahore's Jauhar town to celebrate his release, shouted anti- India slogans.
Saeed blamed India for his incarceration in Pakistan, saying "Pakistan's rulers detained me on the aspiration of Modi due to their friendship with him".
India has said it has evidence that Saeed was involved in the Mumbai attack, but Islamabad has long said sufficient evidence is not available to charge him.
"When the government was not able to present any evidence to justify [Saeed's] continued detention, the court ordered his release when his current detention order expires [on Thursday]", said Hafiz's spokesperson, Nadeem Awan.
"I was detained due to pressure from India". "It's because of Kashmir that India is after me, but all her efforts have been in vain and Allah has set me free", he said. "The US did so on the request of India", he claimed.
The move is likely to anger US and Indian officials, who have accused Saeed of helping plan the Mumbai attacks in which 10 gunmen rampaged through India's largest city, shooting up two luxury hotels, a Jewish center, and a train station during a siege that lasted several days. He had been on house arrest since January in the eastern city of Lahore.
"I was in custody for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir", Saeed, who has been branded as an worldwide terrorist by the United Nations and the U.S., said his followers.
Saeed founded the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1990s and when it was banned, Jamaat-ud-Dawa was revived in 2002.
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