Hafiz Saeed’s release order: Pakistan ‘hoodwinking’ global community
A Pakistani court on Wednesday ordered the release from house arrest of an Islamist leader accused by the US and India of masterminding attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed, a prosecutor said.
The sharp reaction came within hours of the Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court ordering Saeed’s release on the expiry of his 30-day house arrest which is going to expire in a couple of days.
“The release order only shows that Pakistan provides free space to terrorists to indulge in acts against other countries. And in case of Saeed, a designated terrorist, it also shows how Pakistan is hoodwinking the international community on the issue of terrorism,” a source said.
The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province had asked for a 60-day extension to Saeed’s detention but the request was turned down by the court, prosecutor Sattar Sahil told Reuters.
“His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow,” said Sahil.
Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks in which 10 gunmen attacked targets in India’s largest city, including two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a train station in a rampage that lasted several days.
The US had offered a $10 million bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
“The leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed’s (may God protect him) internment is over,” Nadeem Awan, a media manager for JuD, wrote on Facebook after the court order.