The chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Saeed, has been freed by Pakistan from house arrest on Friday. Just after getting freed from jail, Saeed launched anti-India rhetoric by claiming that he would mobilize people for the “cause of Kashmir”. The JuD head was released after the government decided not to detain him in any further case, Saeed carries a $10 million American bounty for his role in terror activities.
The release of Hafiz Saeed following midnight came ahead of the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai in which 166 lost their lives. India has asked Pakistan quite often to reinvestigate the Mumbai terror attack case and also demanded the trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in light of the evidence it had provided to Islamabad. “I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir. I fight for the cause of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir and we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom,” said Saeed while addressing his supporters gathered outside his house.
On Wednesday, the Punjab province’s Judicial Review Board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) unanimously ordered Saeed’s release on the completion of his 30-day house, which expired last night. India, however, showed its anger over the decision of the judicial board to release Saeed, saying it a stab by Pakistan to mainstream banned terrorists and a reflection of its ongoing support to non-state actors. Commenting on the Saeed’s release, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) affirmed that the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government has been shown once again in bringing to justice culprits of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the UN.
The MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Thursday that “It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see”. Taking an example of release order to strengthen his claim of “innocence”, Saeed said, “I am very happy that none of the allegations against me were proved as three judges of the LHC ordered my release… India had leveled baseless allegations against me. The LHC’s review board decision has proved that I am innocent.” “I was detained on the pressure of the US on the Pakistani government. The US did so on the request of India,” he added.