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U.S. hits back after Pakistan court orders release of Hafiz Saeed

23 November 2017

Days before the ninth anniversary of 26/11 terror attacks, a Lahore court today ordered the release of the Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed from house arrest.

A US state department spokesperson said: "The US is aware of media reports regarding Pakistan's ordered release of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest".

"The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case", the board said.

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In October, the board had agreed to extend the house arrest of Saeed, which was about to end next week.

Stating that his client is innocent, Saeed's lawyer AK Dogar told the media that "there is no evidence against him, the court can not pronounce him guilty".

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. The other four aids have already been set free when the court had no grounds to extend their arrests. Authorities arguing against the release of Saeed are of the opinion that it could invite global sanctions on Pakistan.

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JuD, which has operated freely across Pakistan and is popular for its charity work, is accused by the United States and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

A provincial law officer had told the Lahore High Court during the last hearing that a provincial review board would review Saeed's detention. He also has a bounty on his head for Dollars 10 million bounty offered by the United States of America for masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

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U.S. hits back after Pakistan court orders release of Hafiz Saeed