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Hafiz Saeed’s release

The US said it was deeply concerned after Pakistan freed Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed who was released from house arrest, two days after the Lahore High Court rejected Punjab government’s request to extend his detention. The Punjab government in January placed JuD chief and his four aides under house arrest for their alleged activities to harm peace and security.
The organisations run by Saeed were also placed on the watch list while he was put on the second schedule under Section 11-EEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Saeed was detained at his residence in Lahore’s Johar Town which was declared a sub-jail. US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said that
LeT was a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens. He added that the Pakistani government should make sure that he was arrested and charged for his crimes.
The $10 million bounty for Saeed first offered in 2012 still stands, Nauert added. India expressed its fury at his freedom, with foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar accusing Pakistan of attempting to mainstream proscribed terrorists. It is the third time that the Hafiz Saeed has been released by courts after Islamabad briefly detained him twice in the aftermath of the attacks in November 2008. The government late on Thursday put an end to Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s house arrest and withdrew jail staff from his Johar Town residence. Hafiz Saeed, who spent 297-day detention, is expected to address his followers at Jamia al Qadsiya near Chauburji. On Thursday midnight, hundreds of his supporters gathered outside his house and showered rose petals on Hafiz Saeed as he came out. They also distributed sweets amid full-throat slogans welcoming the release of their leader. His spokesman Ahmad Nadeem Awan said: “Now, Hafiz Sahib is free. Jail staff has been withdrawn. All legal formalities are fulfilled and Hafiz Sahib has signed the documents.” US concerns on release of Hafiz Saeed are not right as he was released after Lahore High Court’s decision. United States is toeing Indian’s line and demands Hafiz Saeed’s arrest on the basis of mere accusations. India has so far failed to share any evidence regarding Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in any terror related incident. The US concerns on his release is tantamount to meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

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