Hafiz Saeed international terrorist and mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks was released from house arrest by a Pakistani court in Lahore today 10 months after the Punjab government placed him under house arrest under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Saeed has been declared a global terrorist by the United Nations and the US for his role in the Mumbai attack. He has a $10 million US bounty on his head.
This will boost Hafiz Saeed’s attempts to move into mainstream politics and belies Pakistan govt’s claims about terrorism and terrorists without any discrimination between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ variety.
For decades, Pakistan has carefully nurtured groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba — which is perceived as an asset because it targets Indian soldiers and assets in Kashmir and elsewhere— even as Pakistan actively targets groups such as the Pakistani Taliban that directly threaten the country and aims to topple the Pakistani state.
India has reacted sharply to this development and slammed the Pakistan govt. The Ministry of External Affairs said this move confirms Pakistan’s lack of seriousness and termed it as an “attempt by Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists”. The US has also expressed its displeasure over the development.
The principal opposition party in India, Congress attacked the Indian govt. stating that it was the failure on the diplomatic front for India and took a dig at Narendra Modi government. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi urged the govt to pursue the case against Saeed.
He said, “India must be relentless in its pursuit of the programme to expose Pakistan in each country of the United Nations with material, evidence, CDs, documents and dossiers to show that this is the utmost limit of hypocrisy by Pakistan.”