India expresses outrage over Hafiz Saeed's imminent release


Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed walked free from house arrest on Thursday, shortly after a Pakistan court rejected plea for an extension of his detention and ordered for his release.

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.

Saeed was put under house arrest after the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.

Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the USA and the United Nations after the Mumbai attack.

He even aired a video message shortly after his release, claiming that India's allegation in opposition to him was "false".

Saeed has long campaigned in support of Muslim separatists in the Indian-ruled portion of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, which Pakistan also claims.

According to a BBC report, he said, "India has always levied allegations of terrorism. but Lahore High Court decision has proved that all of India's propaganda is false".

Saeed's release would lead to strong criticism from India and the U.S., official sources said.

India's Ministry of External Affairs condemned Saeed's release, saying it showed Pakistan was not serious about prosecuting terrorists.

"It astounds me that we keep giving Pakistan money - military and foreign aid - and they're a haven for terror groups from the Taliban to LeT".

"I fight for the case of Kashmiris".

Saeed, however, said Sharif deserved to be removed for his peace overtures with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that after a long deliberation, it has been chose to follow the review board's decision.

The assault brought nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief will be freed on the midnight of November 24 after the expiry of the house arrest order.

Pakistan officially banned the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2002.

Pakistan often says India is violating human rights in Kashmir, where security forces have killed or wounded dozens of protesters at anti-India rallies in recent months.

India considers Saeed one of its most wanted terrorists because of his involvement in the Mumbai attack, as well as a 2006 Mumbai train bombing and a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

Responding to a question, the State Department was quick to express its displeasure over the potential release of Saeed from house arrest. But in this time his outfit has been allowed to set up a political party to enable it to contest elections.