World Media

United States calls on Pakistan to arrest recently freed Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed

United States calls on Pakistan to arrest recently freed Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed

Lakhimpur Kheri: Police were on their toes in Lakhimpur city on Friday morning after members of a community allegedly celebrated the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan.

"Lashkar-e-Taiba is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens", US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said, referring to the party which is considered to be a front for JuD.

It further said that Pakistan government should make sure that Hafiz Saeed is arrested and charged for his crimes.

Several JuD supporters, gathered outside Saeed's house in Lahore's Jauhar town to celebrate his release, shouted anti-India slogans. This week, a three-judge panel ordered his release after rejecting the government's request to keep him in detention.

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Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the USA and the United Nations over his alleged role in the November 2008 attacks. The US has announced $10 million bounty on Saeed for his role in terrorist activities.

Saying he was "fighting for the freedom of Pakistan and Kashmir", he said he had been put under house arrest for fighting for the rights of Kashmiris and Pakistani leaders were making decisions under external pressure. "God willing with the support of people we will take Kashmir to its destiny".

Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed termed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a traitor for seeking friendly ties with India.

On November 26, 2008, ten LeT operatives entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India's most populous metropolis, killing 166 people - including six Jews at Nariman House.

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"India, as indeed the entire worldwide community, is outraged that a self-confessed and a United Nations proscribed terrorist is allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda", Raveesh Kumar, India's foreign ministry spokesperson, told reporters at a weekly briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.

Addressing scores of supporters at midday prayers in Lahore on Friday, Saeed blamed his incarceration on Pakistan's eastern neighbour, India.

"I was detained on the pressure of the U.S. on the Pakistani government". India had levelled baseless allegations against me.

Saeed is also a popular cleric in Pakistan, which may be one reason the government let him go.

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