Hafiz Saeed's release is an attempt by Pak to 'mainstream' UN-proscribed terrorists: India


NEW DELHI, Nov. 23: India on Thursday expressed "outrage" at Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed's imminent release from house arrest in Pakistan, terming it an attempt by the neighbour to "mainstream" terrorists, reported news agency ANI.

"Saeed's release appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors, and its true face is visible for all to see," ANI quoted Indian MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar as saying.

Kumar added that Saeed's release confirms the neighbouring country's "lack of seriousness" in bringing perpetrators of terror to justice, reported PTI.

He said India was "outraged that a self-confessed and UN-proscribed terrorist has been allowed to walk free."

On Wednesday, a judicial body in Pakistan ordered the release of the 26/11 attackmastermind from house arrest, citing "insufficient evidence."

Saeed may walk free tonight if the Pakistani government does not detain him in any other case, PTI reported earlier today.

However, an official source told the agency that the government is considering detaining him in another case. Pakistan is worried that Saeed's release could lead to imposition of sanctions from the international community on the country.

On January 31, Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain - were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The government can detain a person for up to three months under different charges but requires the approval of a judicial review board to extend detention.

The US had announced a $10 million bounty for Saaed for his alleged role in the Mumbai terror attack. The JuD is believed to be the front of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for the 26/11 attack. TOI With inputs from agencies

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