Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed’s release order: Pak ‘hoodwinking’ global community on terrorism

Hafiz Saeed’s release order: Pak ‘hoodwinking’ global community on terrorism
Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s release order by a Pakistani judicial body shows how Pakistan is “hoodwinking” the international community on the issue of terrorism, government sources said on Wednesday.

It is also reflective of Islamabad’s “duplicity” in tackling terrorism, they said and asked Pakistan to “walk the talk” on its assurances to the international community over dismantling terror infrastructure and not allowing its soil to be used for terror acts.

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.

Saeed’s release may also coincide with the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which at least 166 people were killed.

“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.

Pakistan keeps giving assurances to the international community that it is making all efforts to tackle terrorism but it never implements its assurances in reality and this (Saeed) is one example, another source asserted.

The banned JuD 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.

“The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case,” said the Pakistani board which was headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan.

Saeed may walk out free in a couple of days if the government does not detain him in any other case.

India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attacks case and also demanded trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of evidence it had provided to Islamabad.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attacks.

Saeed was put under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.

Ten LeT militants killed 166 people and wounded hundreds in Mumbai in November, 2008. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

Kasab was executed after a court found him guilty and handed down death sentence.

PTI