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25 November 2017, 12:24 | Tara Lloyd
Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks
The United States, which labels Saeed a leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, said it is "deeply concerned" about his release.
The US statement came hours after Saeed, free from his 10-month house detention, addressed his followers at the headquarters of his Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) charity and accused the Pakistan government of taking "dictation from foreign masters" to appease India.
JuD head has promised to gather people for cause of freeing Kashmiris; US issues statement saying he should be charged for his crimesLAHORE Mumbai attack mastermind and banned Jamaatud- Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday walked free from house arrest and said he would gather people across Pakistan for the "cause of Kashmir" and try to help Kashmiris get their "destination of freedom". "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". A United States official on Friday said, "The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes".
A court on Wednesday ruled out prolonging Saeed's detention due to a lack of evidence or justification for it. Saeed was placed under house arrest on January 30.
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Saeed was released after Thursday midnight after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further.
"Since 2012, the United States has offered a U.S. $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice", Nauert said in a statement.
The Muslim cleric whom India holds responsible for the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai has been set free by a court in Pakistan. "God willing with the support of people we will take Kashmir to its destiny".
Saeed said he was fighting for independence for Pakistan and Kashmir, according to his spokesman Nadeem Awan.
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Speaking about alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, Saeed said: "Peace can't be established in Pakistan if (such) terrorists continue to enter the country".
Addressing scores of supporters at midday prayers in Lahore on Friday, Saeed blamed his incarceration on Pakistan's eastern neighbour, India.
JuD chief Hafiz Saeed carries $10 million bounty for his role in terror activities, which include the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Pakistan's refusal to take action against Saeed has been one the biggest stress points of its relationship with India. "India has been lobbying against me", the militant leader said. He, however, has repeatedly denied involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. While maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir will always remain an integral part of India, a senior MHA official said India's security forces had given an "appropriate response" to such comments by subversive elements.
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