Hafiz release mainstreaming of proscribed terrorists by Pak: India

Hafiz Saeed, 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz Saeed released

NEW DELHI, Nov 24: India today expressed outrage over the imminent release of Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed from house arrest, calling it an attempt by Pakistan to mainstream proscribed terrorists and a reflection of its continuing support to non-state actors.

In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said 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 told a press conference.

A Pakistani judicial body yesterday ordered the release of Saeed from house arrest, seen as a setback to India’s efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“India, as indeed the entire international community, is outraged that a self-confessed and UN proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue his evil agenda,” he said, adding the terrorist was also responsible for unleashing numerous other terror attacks against Pakistan’s neighbours.

Kumar said it is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to fulfil its international obligations and take credible and effective action against terrorists like Saeed.

Saeed was the prime organiser of the Mumbai terror attacks in which many Indians and nationals of several other countries were killed.

“His release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistani government in bringing to justice perpetrators of heinous acts of terrorism, including by individuals and entities designated by the United Nations.

The banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah head, who carries a bounty of USD 10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities, has been under detention since January.

Replying to a question on whether the Donald Trump administration has been soft on dealing with terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Kumar called the observation wrong and said both India and the US were on the “same page” in combating terrorism. PTI