New York, Nov 24 (IANS) The US on Friday demanded that Pakistan arrest Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed, who carries a $10 million US bounty, and charge him for his crimes.
The State Department said in a statement that the US is “deeply concerned” about the release of Saeed, who heads “a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens”.
Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/8 terrorist attacks on Mumbai that killed over 160 people, was let go by Pakistani authorities in Lahore after a court refused to extend the detention that ended Thursday and ordered him released from house arrest.
After Donald Trump, who had made strong statements during his campaign about fighting terrorism, assumed the US presidency, Islamabad placed him under house arrest.
In 2008, the US Treasury Department declared Saeed a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order and placed him under sanctions.
His release came in defiance of Trump’s calls for Pakistan to act against terrorists endangering regional security and warned that it had “much to lose” by harbouring terrorist.
Last month aduring a visit to Pakistan, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanded that Islamabad step up “efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country”.
Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])