U.S. concerned over release of Hafiz Saeed


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".

USA state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saeed's organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians including American citizens.

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

Pakistan has released a militant wanted by USA authorities from house arrest, after a court ordered an end to his detention.

Punjab Assistant Advocate General Sattar Sahil said the government law officer had presented "some important evidence" to justify Saeed's detention, but all three members of the board unanimously rejected it and ordered his release.

Hafiz Saeed has been designated as a declared terrorist by the UN, US and India for his involvement in 2008 Mumbai attacks.

LeT and several of its front organizations, leaders, and operatives remain under both State Department and Treasury Department sanctions.

The statement also pointed out that Saeed carried a $10 million on his head.

"India as indeed the entire global community is outraged that a self-confessed and United Nations proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda", Raveesh Kumar, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Thursday.

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"Thank God, we were vindicated".

In an earlier address to his supporters massed outside his Johar Town residence, Saeed thanked the Lahore High Court for refusing to buy the government's arguments that his release would pose a threat to public safety.

India says Saeed is the main plotter of the 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed between 26 and 29 November.

According to the UN Security Council, Saeed's JuD organization is synonymous with the terrorist group and supportive of al Qaeda and the Taliban.

His social media spokesman announced in a tweet that Hafiz Saeed is a free man.

Saeed for decades has publicly espoused ending India's rule of the disputed Himalayan Kashmir region, with India accusing him of sending armed militants to the valley.

Saeed is also a popular cleric in Pakistan, which may be one reason the government let him go.

December 13, 2001: Indian Parliament attacked, 14 dead. He further alleged that India is involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan. On January 31, Saeed and his four aides Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.