U.S. strongly condemns Hafiz Saeed's release, warns of repercussions for Pakistan

27 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

"The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan", a statement from the State Department declared on Friday. LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens. The White House is calling the release of a U.S. -wanted militant by Pakistan a "step in the wrong direction" for U.S. -Pakistan relations and says a refusal to re-arrest him would have serious repercussions for bilateral ties and Pakistan's reputation. He had been under house arrest since January 30. "Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, who carries a $10 million USA bounty for his role in terrorist activities, was let go after Thursday midnight by Pakistani authorities in Lahore after a court refused to extend his house arrest citing lack of evidence. The court said that government has failed to provide enough evidences against Saeed.

Saeed was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 by the United States Department of the Treasury in May 2008.

Saeed is allegedly the founder of a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai, India, attack that killed 168 people.

Hafiz Saeed, Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head and LeT founder has a United States dollars 10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities. In a speech in August, Trump said, "Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror" and that must change immediately or the USA would stop providing financial assistance.

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India expresses outrage over Hafiz Saeed's release
Saeed founded the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1990s and when it was banned, Jamaat-ud-Dawa was revived in 2002. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.


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He said that Pakistan's resolve, actions and successes in the fight against terrorism, terrorist violence and terrorists is "unmatched in the world".

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. In an expected move after his release, Hafiz Saeed addressed his followers during Friday prayers at the JuD headquarters warning Pakistan government against taking "dictation from foreign masters" to appease India.

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

Saeed further emphasised, "Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been punished for forsaking Kashmiris".

"Nawaz Sharif asks why he was ousted?" While maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir will always remain an integral part of India, a senior MHA official said India's security forces had given an "appropriate response" to such comments by subversive elements.

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