Pakistan on Saturday justified the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed while also stating that its government was committed to the implementation of UNSC sanctions regime on terrorists.
The US, on the other hand, warned Pakistan of repercussions if it did not take action to ‘lawfully detain’ the terror accused.
The White House said in a statement, “(Hafiz) Saeed’s release, after Pakistan’s failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan’s commitment to (combating) international terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil.”
“If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan’s global reputation,” it added.
Saeed, who has a $ 10 million bounty by America on his head for terror activities, was freed by Pakistan yesterday.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that 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.
“It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Thursday.
Responding to the comments made by the MEA, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that Pakistan was committed to the implementation of UNSC 1267 sanctions regime and has taken several steps in this regard, reported PTI.
Saeed, in his late 60s, was under house arrest for 297 days since January. The fire-brand cleric’s release after midnight came ahead of the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.