USA concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed

  • USA concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed

USA concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed

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.

"I'm happy that no allegation against me was proved", Saeed told supporters after his release, according to a video released by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Islamist charity, which he heads. "Thank God, we were vindicated".

While some in Pakistan may wish to see Mr Saeed placed on trial, there is widespread suspicion among Indian and United States officials that he still retains close links to the country's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been long blamed for sponsoring numerous cross-border attacks on Indian targets. India believes that Lashkar-e-Tayyaba was behind the deadly attack in Mumbai.

Mr Saeed, 68, has always denied being being the multi-target attack on Mumbai that left close to 170 people dead. Saeed is suspected of masterminding coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 166 people in 2008.

Indian commandos prepare to storm the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai during the 2008 terror attacks.

"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", the statement said.

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

Often a guest on conservative television talks shows, the popular jihadist still attracts large crowds with his anti-American and anti-Indian diatribes in rallies and protests.

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting", Trump had said at that time as he unveiled his new Afghan strategy, adding: "No partnership can survive a country's harbouring of militants and terrorists who target USA service members and officials".

The campaign appeared to produce some success this year when Pakistani security forces assisted with the release of a Taliban-held U.S.

"This is a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan", President Donald Trump said in a statement after Coleman was freed.

Washington is also seen to have let Pakistan off the hook with the US Senate recently dropping a provision that had hitherto tied US funding to Islamabad's concrete actions to curb LeT operations as well.

In August, he warned that Pakistan had "much to lose" if it failed to cooperate with the neighboring Afghanistan. "Recent statements of Saeed are simply a re-articulation of the agenda of terrorist constituency which thrives across the border", the official said. "They play everyone, whether it's China or the terrorists or us". Betrayal and disrespect-and much worse.