Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed walks free

In a statement, US State department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Seed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan".

The US, reportedly, termed LeT as a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens. This was following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which claimed 166 lives, including six American nationals.

The United States has expressed deep concern at the release of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, on Friday (November 25) calling for him to be arrested and charged for his crimes.

But on Friday Pakistani authorities released him after a court rejected a provincial government request to renew his detention for another 90 days.

Huckabee Sanders said Saeed's release "sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to combating worldwide terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil", adding that, "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". While the world reacted harshly, Saeed celebrated his release with candies and cake cutting in Pakistan.

Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks
Trump admin cracks down on release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, warns Pakistan of repercussions

The US treasury department had designated Saeed as a specially-designated global terrorist under executive order 13224 in 2008. The Justice Department has a $10 million bounty out for his capture.

"I'm happy that no allegation against me was proved", Saeed told supporters after his release in the city of Lahore, according to a video released by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Islamist charity, which he heads. India and the United States said there was sufficient evidence, though this was something prosecutors in Pakistan denied. His situation under house arrest is not irksome; Mr Saeed has a large property in Lahore and is protected not only by his own armed guards but by armed police officers. Sharif is ousted from the prime minister house because he committed treason with Kashmiris.

In an interview with the BBC, Saeed said the court's decision was proof of his innocence with regard to the Mumbai attacks. He had been under house arrest since January 30.

The US statement came hours after Saeed walked free and lost little time in making yet another incendiary speech, slamming India and renewing his vow to continue the "jehad" for Kashmir's "Independence".

For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the US 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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