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27 November 2017, 01:06 | Floyd Cook
News Pakistan releases US-wanted militant suspect on court order
By Michael Moates
The White House on Saturday came down heavily on Pakistan for the release of its state-coddled Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist+Hafiz Saeed, warning that there will be "repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan's global reputation" if he is not immediately re-arrested and prosecuted.
The White House press secretary said LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens.
The U.S. State Department is "deeply concerned" over Saeed's release, State Department spokeswoman Heather Neuart said in a statement on Friday, citing the Mumbai attacks.
Hafiz Saeed, who allegedly planned attacks that left 164 people dead, had been detained at his house in Lahore without charges since January.
"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", it said in a statement.
Hafiz Saeed speaks with supporters after attending Friday prayers in Lahore November 24, 2017.
Pakistani authorities on Friday released the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks who has a $10 million US bounty on his head.
India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that 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.
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India that left 168 people dead, and Saeed is designated as a terrorist by the USA government.
India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and also demanded trial of Hafiz Saeed and LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of evidence it had provided to Islamabad. We've given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? He heads Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the U.S. says is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.
In October, the board had agreed to extend the house arrest of Saeed, which was about to end next week.
"Just as I am free today, Kashmir will also be free one day", Saeed said after midnight Thursday.
With Beijing financing more than US$55 billion (RM226 billion) of Pakistani infrastructure projects as part of China's Belt and Road initiative, some analysts have suggested that Pakistan can to some extent ignore pressure from the US. Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed treason with Kashmiris.
For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the USA for not doing enough in their counterterrorism efforts to end the Afghan war - the longest military engagement in America's history.
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