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United States calls for arrest of released LeT leader Hafiz Saeed

United States calls for arrest of released LeT leader Hafiz Saeed”

Voicing "deep concern" over the release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed from house arrest, the United States on Friday asked Pakistan to arrest and charge the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba chief who for years has been carrying a USA bounty of $10 million on his head.

The US and the United Nations classify Saeed's JuD as a terrorist group and it is alleged to be a front organization for LeT, whose attack on Mumbai led to the death of 166 Indians and foreigners.

The Spokesperson said that the Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes.

While some in Pakistan may wish to see Mr Saeed placed on trial, there is widespread suspicion among Indian and U.S. 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. Dozens of cheering supporters greeted Saeed as he exited the court.

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In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. Saeed was also designated terrorist under UNSCR 1267 days after the 26/11 attacks in which six American citizens were killed, Nauert said. In April 2012, the U.S. announced a bounty of $10m on Mr Saeed.

US President Donald Trump, while introducing his administration's new Asia policy in August this year, said that Washington could "no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations".

Instead, Mr Saeed has spent much of the last decade being placed under house arrest and then released. In an expected move after his release, Hafiz Saeed addressed his followers during Friday prayers at the JuD headquarters warning Pakistan government against taking "dictation from foreign masters" to appease India.

Given that, Saeed's release "sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to combating worldwide terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil", the White House said in an emailed statement yesterday.

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Saeed also insisted why the ex- Prime Minister Sharif was made to step down.

"Nawaz Sharif asks why he was ousted? He wanted companionship with India and utterly avoided the Kashmir concern", he further asserted and threatened the PML-N government not to bow before the worldwide group of people for loans.

Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, said the release by Pakistan was adding salt to India's wounds. He also warned ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N) against bowing before the worldwide community for loans and said, "The rulers must not take dictation from the United States and other countries and take its own decisions".

Saeed has been detained periodically by the Pakistani government since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. "It is because of Kashmir that India has been after me".

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