US condemns release of Hafiz Saeed, calls for re-arrest

ANI | Updated: Nov 25, 2017 23:27 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], November 25 (ANI): The United States strongly condemned the release of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest and called for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution.

The White House in a statement said: "The United States strongly condemns the release of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Haft Saeed from house arrest in Pakistan and calls for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution."

"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. The Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the United States, since 2012, has offered a $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice," it reads.

The White House further said Saeed's release, after Pakistan's failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to combating international terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil.

"If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan's global reputation," it said.

According to the White House, as President Donald J. Trump's South Asia policy makes it clear that the U.S. seeks a constructive relationship with Pakistan, but expects decisive action against militant and terrorist groups on Pakistani soil that are a threat to the region. The release of Saeed is a step in the wrong direction.

The statement also said that the Pakistan government now has an opportunity to demonstrate its seriousness in confronting all forms of terrorism, without distinction, by arresting and charging Saeed for his crimes.

Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, was released on November 24 after a Pakistan judicial body ordered his release from house arrest, rejecting a request from the government of Punjab to extend his detention by three months.

The decision to put Saeed under house arrest in January was seen as a response to actions by US President Donald Trump's White House against nations deemed linked to terrorism. (ANI)

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