Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed from house arrest

  • Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed from house arrest

Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed from house arrest

Earlier, four of Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa colleagues - Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz - were released when a similar review board deemed the government's evidence for their continued detention to be insufficient. India-Pakistan ties plummeted after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January 2016, and since then Islamabad has rejected every reasonable diplomatic move to mend relations.

Saeed's release would lead to strong criticism from India and the United States, official sources said. "This is a great step for freedom for Pakistan".

A Pakistan court on Wednesday ordered the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, blamed for the horrific 2008 Mumbai terror attack, from house arrest that began in January this year. "Instead this act was staged by the Indian intelligence service so India could afterwards tighten its anti-terror laws".

Pakistan often says India is violating human rights in Kashmir, where security forces have killed or wounded dozens of protesters at anti-India rallies in recent months. He is also quoted as saying, "There can not be any peace while India remains intact".

"His release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistani government in bringing to justice perpetrators of heinous acts of terrorism, including by individuals and entities designated by the United Nations".

"The US is aware of media reports that Pakistan (court) ordered release of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest", a State Department spokesperson told PTI when asked about the decision of the Judicial Review Board of Punjab province which refused to extend Saeed's detention.

"We responded to Pakistan's offer (of allowing Jadhav's wife to meet him) about 3-4 days ago". Many in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan and violence has increased in Indian-controlled Kashmir in recent years.

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.

The release of Hafiz Saeed from house arrest raised fresh questions as to whether Saeed might enter politics to run a new, unregistered political party founded by his supporters.

The U.S. has also made several overtures to India for closer ties. They were set free last month. Following a brief period of house arrest in 2008, Saeed led a high-profile public life and regularly delivered fiery anti-India speeches.