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27 November 2017, 01:07 | Colleen Roy
Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks
"(Hafiz) Saeed's release, after Pakistan's failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to (combating) global terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil", the White House said in a statement. 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.
Saeed was put under house arrest after the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.
The U.S. State Department is "deeply concerned" over Saeed's release, State Department spokeswoman Heather Neuart said in a statement on Friday, citing the Mumbai attacks.
But on Friday Pakistani authorities released him after a court rejected a provincial government request to renew his detention for another 90 days.
Saeed was placed under house arrest in January while Sharif was still prime minister, a move that drew praise from India, long furious at Saeed's continued freedom in Pakistan.
"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", read the statement.
It also called Saeed a "notorious terrorist" and pointed out that "a clear worldwide consensus" exists regarding Saeed's culpability - he was designated by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008 and the Department of the Treasury has designated him a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Saeed says again that the United States, on India's request, pressured Pakistan to keep in custody him. We've given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? The U.S. has a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction. They say that while Jamaat-ud-Dawa may indeed perform charitable activities, it is also a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan militant group which became notorious for strikes on Indian targets, including a 2001 attack on its parliament in Delhi.
Earlier, India had slammed Pakistan for its decision to release Mumbai attack mastermind who was under house arrest for ten months.
The US statement came hours after Saeed walked free and lost little time in making yet another incendiary speech, slamming India and renewing his vow to continue the "jehad" for Kashmir's "Independence".
The United States today engages in extensive economic, social, and scientific assistance as well as vital military relations with Pakistan, which is believed to own a stockpile of 80 to 100 nuclear weapons.
The campaign appeared to produce some success this year when Pakistani security forces assisted with the release of a Taliban-held US-Canadian family after five years in captivity.
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