Freed terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed rails against India: Nawaz Sharif

Hafiz Saeed

The statement builds on a comment Friday by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert that "the United States is deeply concerned" that Saeed has been released from house arrest.

As the Indian city of Mumbai commemorated the 2008 terror attacks that left 168 people dead, relatives of the victims said Sunday that they're angry Pakistan has released a militant linked to the massacre.

"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", USA state department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, adding: "The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes".

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, who carries a $10 million U.S. bounty for his role in terrorist activities, was let go after Thursday midnight by Pakistani authorities in Lahore after a court refused to extend his house arrest citing lack of evidence. "The Pakistani government now has an opportunity to demonstrate its seriousness in confronting all forms of terrorism, without distinction, by arresting and charging Hafiz Saeed for his crimes", the White House said. The mastermind of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai was under detention since January but released on Friday after a directive from the judicial review board of Pakistan's Punjab Province.

India has also expressed outrage at the release, saying it appeared to be an attempt by its northern neighbour to "mainstream proscribed terrorists".

The Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the USA, since 2012, has offered a United States dollars 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice, Sanders said. "They play everyone, whether it's China or the terrorists or us".

The US, since 2012, had announced $ 10 million for information that brings Saeed to justice. Police guards have been removed from his residence where a large number of supporters gathered to celebrate the end of his house arrest.

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. Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed treason with Kashmiris.

India-Pakistan relations are already at a low ebb, particularly under the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, but Saeed's release will reinforce the view from New Delhi that peace talks would be pointless while the military is allegedly overpowering civilian institutions, Pant said. India and the United States said there was sufficient evidence, though this was something prosecutors in Pakistan denied. That came about after Pakistani military's purported rescue of American hostage Caitlan Coleman and her family after five years of Taliban captivity.

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