The United States on Friday called on Pakistan to ensure Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested and charged for his crimes. Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, was released today after a Pakistan judicial body on Wednesday ordered his release from house arrest, rejecting a request from the government of Punjab to extend his detention by three months.
“The US is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan. The 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. The Pakistani Government should make sure he is arrested and charged for his crimes,” US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, in a press statement.
The US State Department spokesperson said Saeed was a United Nations designated terrorist and had a USD 10 million bounty on his head. “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. In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Saeed as a Specially-Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224,” the statement added.
“LeT and several of its front organisations, leaders, and operatives remain under both State Department and Treasury Department sanctions. Since 2012, the United States has offered a USD 10 million? reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.”
In his first address after being released, Saeed had blamed India and the US for detention and raked up the Kashmir issue. The decision to put Saeed under house arrest in January was seen as a response to actions by US President Donald Trump’s White House against nations deemed linked to terrorism.