US Condemns Hafiz Saeed’s Release, Warns Pak Of Repercussions

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Washington: The White House on Saturday said there would be repercussions for U.S.-Pakistan relations unless Islamabad took action to detain and charge a freed Islamist militant accused of masterminding a 2008 assault in Mumbai, India.

In an extraordinarily strong statement on the subject, the White House just stopped short of calling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism+ , saying the country’s failure to prosecute or charge Saeed, “sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan’s commitment to combatting international terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil.”

It also called Saeed a “notorious terrorist” and pointed out that “a clear international consensus” exists regarding Saeed’s culpability – he was designated by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008 and the Department of the Treasury has designated him a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

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Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, walked free on Friday after his house arrest ended without any charges. While the world reacted harshly, Saeed celebrated his release with sweets and cake cutting in Pakistan.

The JuD head, who carries a bounty of USD 10 million for his role in terror activities, was set free after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any case. He has been under detention since January this year.