Hafiz Saeed, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief, is a free man now. A Pakistani court has ordered his release. Saeed was put under house arrest in January after years of living freely in Pakistan. However, India has expressed its “outrage” at his release. The Ministry of External Affairs called this move as a confirmation of Pakistan’s lack of seriousness and termed it as an “attempt by Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists”. The US too is unhappy over the development.
Through a video message, the chief of Pakistan’s banned terrorist outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), thanked the judges for his freedom. Saeed is the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The US has designated him a terrorist, offering a $10-million bounty.
#BREAKING: Global Terrorist #HafizSaeed speaks from his SUV after being released from house detention in Lahore. Thanks Pakistani Courts, rakes up #Kashmir yet again against India. Horrific drama unfolding on the streets of Pakistan. Pak Govt a mute spectator. Is US watching? pic.twitter.com/czWGGm11Cu
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) November 22, 2017
Soon after his release, he promised that he and his followers will work towards “Kashmir’s independence”. He also blamed India for his arrest.
In the video, he says that “despite the representatives of governments and ministries all going against his release the judges decided against them. This is a victory for the independence prevailing in Pakistan and I am fighting for the case of independence of Kashmir.”
While ordering his release, a review board of the judges of the Lahore High Court, said that the release is subject to the condition that he is not wanted in any other case. The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province had asked for a 60-day extension to Saeed’s detention but the request was turned down by the court.
Pakistan is worried that Saeed’s release could lead to imposition of sanctions from the international community on the country.
Pakistan’s Punjab government had detained Saeed and his four aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – on January 31 for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.