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U.S. concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed
26 November 2017, 01:29 | Myrtle Vega
Remembering 26/11 Hafiz Saeed's release shows Pakistan not serious about bringing perpetrators to justice
"The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan", a statement from the State Department declared on Friday. LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens.
India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Saeed's release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the UN.
Earlier, India had slammed Pakistan for its decision to release Mumbai attack mastermind who was under house arrest for ten months.
"It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non state actors, and its true face is visible for all to see", media reports quoted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar as saying. The court said that government has failed to provide enough evidences against Saeed.
The United States Department of the Treasury, in May 2008, had designated Saeed as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" under the Executive Order 13224. Both designations blamed him for the November 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people, including six American citizens, were killed.
Saeed also targeted the Pakistani government for "taking dictation from foreign masters", in a clear reference to the United States, which had put a $10 million bounty on his head.
President Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of harboring "agents of chaos" and providing safe havens to militant groups waging an insurgency against a USA -backed government in Kabul.
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The security forces cordoned off Magam area in Handwara after receiving specific information about the presence of the militants. The terrorists, who were hiding in a house, were asked to surrender but they kept on firing on search parties.
"This could move the us closer to adapting a largely symbolic but nonetheless major punitive step - the revocation of Pakistan's non-NATO ally status, which would be a big reputational blow for Pakistan", Kugelman said.
The US reaction came hours after Saeed's release from house arrest in Lahore.
Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed termed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a traitor for seeking friendly ties with India.
Saeed has also accused India of putting up baseless claims against him.
'Nawaz Sharif asks why he was ousted? Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed betrayal with Kashmiris. The White House is calling Pakistan's release of a US -wanted militant a "step in the wrong direction" and says a refusal to re-arrest him would damage bilateral ties and Pakistan's reputation around the world. "I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir and we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom".
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