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Pakistan Court Orders Release of Cleric Wanted by USA for Terrorism

24 November 2017

The court had warned the government last month that it would end Saeed's house arrest if enough evidence was not submitted against him.

Later, in a video message released by his party, Saeed said he was detained because of his association with Jammu and Kashmir.

USA today reminded Pakistan that Hafiz Saeed is a "designated global terrorist" by the United Nations, just hours after a Pakistan Judicial Review Board in Punjab refused to extend the detention of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief. In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Saeed's release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the UN. In May 2008, the USA department of the treasury designated Saeed as a specially designated global terrorist under Executive Order 13224, the spokesperson said.

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Mumbai attack mastermind and banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed will walk free tonight as the Pakistan government has decided not to detain him further in any other case, officials have confirmed.

Rejecting the government's plea to extend his detention for another three months, the Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court ordered Saeed's release on the expiry of his 30-day house arrest, which is going to expire in a couple of days. He has been under house arrest since January this year.

Soon after his release from house arrest, Jama'at-ud-Dawa chief, Hafiz Saeed has vowed to work for the "freedom of Kashmir".

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Saeed said to the Guardian: "I am fighting for the cause of Kashmir, which is why India is after me".

Lawyers of the JBA assembled at the High Court complex and raised slogans and tore Pakistani flags and later set them afire.

Official sources said that Saeed's release would invite strong criticism from India and the US.

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According to members of the JuD, the organization is a charity group but the US considers it a front for the Pakistan-based LeT militant group. The U.S. has also declared JuD a global terrorist organization, condemning it as a front for the outlawed Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group blamed for carrying out the Mumbai carnage that left 166 people dead.

Pakistan Court Orders Release of Cleric Wanted by USA for Terrorism