gpolit.com
gpolit.com April 26, 2018


Pakistan justifies Saeed's release

27 November 2017, 01:06 | Rufus Hill

Standard & Poor’s is an American financial services company

Standard & Poor’s is an American financial services company

In a statement Saturday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the United States "strongly condemns" Saeed's release and urged that he be re-arrested and prosecuted. The US escalated its criticism of Pakistan's decision to set free the alleged mastermind of the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, with the White House warning that the move may damage bilateral relations.

As Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest on Friday, the United States has shown its concern over the development, saying he should be "arrested and charges for his crimes".

The Judicial Review Board of Punjab province - comprising judges of the Lahore High Court - unanimously ordered Saeed's release yesterday, on the completion of his 30-day house arrest, which expired last night.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, in January, in keeping with Pakistan's antiterrorism laws.

"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", it said in a statement.

A spokesman for Saeed hailed the release as a "victory of truth", according to the AP, calling the allegations against him "baseless".

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India that left 168 people dead, and Saeed is designated as a terrorist by the US government. "Since 2012, the United States has offered a USA $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice".

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 worldwide terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil". We've given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? The assault brought nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

Saeed attacked government of Pakistan for "taking dictation from foreign masters" and spoke about "Indian atrocities" in Kashmir. Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed treason with Kashmiris.

Saeed's detention in Lahore since January was initially interpreted as an attempt to placate the U.S., which has taken a tougher tone on Pakistan under Trump.

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.

For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the USA for not doing enough in their counterterrorism efforts to end the Afghan war - the longest military engagement in America's history.



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