WASHINGTON: A US official on Friday said Washington is “deeply concerned” at the release from house arrest of Hafiz Saeed who is accused of masterminding the 2008 assault in the Indian city of Mumbai.
Hafiz Saeed, who had been under house arrest since January, was ordered freed by the Lahore High Court this week.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saeed’s organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including American citizens.
“The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes,” Nauert said in a statement.
“In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Since 2012, the United States has offered a US $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice,” the State Department spokesperson added in the statement.
In response to the US State Department, Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) spokesman Yahya Mujahid said the US had announced $10 million reward, but was unable to produce any evidence against Hafiz Saeed in the last five years.
The JuD spokesman further said that Pakistani courts were free and expressing concerns over their verdict was akin to interfering in the internal matters of the country.
Mujahid added that Hafiz Saeed had condemned and denied his involvement in the Mumbai attacks. According to the spokesman, Hafiz Saeed is a preacher of peace and torchbearer for humanity.