Hafiz Saeed's release order: Pak 'hoodwinking' global community on terrorism


The Pakistan government has reportedly told a judicial body that the country could face global sanctions if Jamaat leader Hafiz Sayeed is released from house arrest.

The alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, designated as a terrorist leader by the United Nations and the United States, was ordered to be released from detention Thursday by a Pakistani court in Lahore.

The order to release Saeed from detention came just a few days after the Pakistan government had chose to request extending the detention of Saeed.

The banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah head carries a bounty of Dollars 10 million announced by the United States for terror activities and has been under detention since January this year.

However, Saeed's four aides were set free last month.

Calling him "prime organiser" of the Mumbai attacks, New Delhi said this showed that Pakistan has "not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible".

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However, the board rejected the extension plea and ordered the release of Saeed. A Pakistani court has ordered his release.

Saeed is suspected of masterminding the attack Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.

India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and also demanded trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of evidence it had provided to Islamabad.

In a video tweeted by a handle linked to the JuD hours after the board issued its order, Saeed blamed India for his detention and vowed to work for "Kashmir's independence", Hindustan Times reported. "This is a victory for the independence prevailing in Pakistan and I am fighting for the case of independence of Kashmir". In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Saeed's release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the UN.

Saeed's counsel AK Dogar had informed the judicial review board that the JuD chief had been held illegally to oblige the United States.