Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed walks free

26 November, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Katrina Soto
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A statement issued by US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert in Washington DC and distributed by the US embassy in Delhi said, "The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan".

"If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan's global reputation", it added.

The Home Ministry Friday said Saeed's release and his comments on Kashmir ahead of the anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks are nothing but re-articulation of the agenda of terrorists who have "thrived" across the border.

He has been designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. has a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction. "Saeed was also individually designated by the United Nations under UNSCR 1267 in December 2008 following the November 2008 Mumbai attack in which six American citizens were killed". "LeT and several of its front organizations, leaders, and operatives remain under both State Department and Treasury Department sanctions", read the statement.

Lashkar-i-Taiba and its leaders remain subject to USA sanctions and the government has offered a US$10 million reward for information that brings him to justice.

The US president Donald Trump in August accused Islamabad of harbouring "agents of chaos" while secretary of state Rex Tillerson said too many extremists were finding sanctuary in Pakistan.

He further said, "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting ... that must change immediately".

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Saeed had been under house arrest since January following a government crackdown on JuD, but a spokesman for his party said authorities had failed to provide evidence.

In a strongly worded statement, the White House said Saeeds release, after Pakistans failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a "deeply troubling message" about Pakistans commitment to combating worldwide terrorism and "belies Pakistani claims" that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil.

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.

"Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been punished for forsaking Kashmiris".

In July, a Supreme Court ruling disqualified Sharif from office over a corruption investigation, though his party still runs the government with a close ally as prime minister. "I want Kashmir's freedom from India and this is my crime".

Saeed was quoted in the media as saying, "I fight the case of Kashmiris".


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