Hafiz Saeed freed in Pakistan


The banned Jamaat- ud-Dawah head, who carries a bounty of $10 million announced by the U.S. for his role in terror activities, was under detention since January. He has been under detention since January this year.

"He was not only the Mastermind, he was the prime organizer of the Mumbai Terror Attacks in which many innocent Indians and many people from other nationalities were killed", the statement said.

In May 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, the spokesperson said.

"I fight the case of Kashmiris".

The Punjab government had asked for an extension to Saeed's detention but the request was turned down by the court and release orders were issued on Wednesday.

India had expressed outrage over the decision of the judicial board to release Saeed, calling it an attempt by Pakistan to mainstream proscribed terrorists and a reflection of its continuing support to non-state actors.

"His release confirms once again the lack of sincerity on the part of Pakistan to get to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack", the representative said.

Saeed is known for publicly supporting militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and is claimed by both.

"India has always tried to do propaganda against me".

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Radical cleric Hafiz Saeed was released on Friday after less than year under house arrest.

He said that after a long deliberation, it has been chose to follow the review board's decision.

Official sources said that Saeed's release would invite strong criticism from India and the US.

"When the government was not able to present any evidence to justify [Saeed's] continued detention, the court ordered his release when his current detention order expires [on Thursday]", said Hafiz's spokesperson, Nadeem Awan.

Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal Shahbaz, Abdur Rehman and Qazi Kashif Hussain - had been under house arrest since January under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The move is likely to anger US and Indian officials, who have accused Saeed of helping plan the Mumbai attacks in which 10 gunmen rampaged through India's largest city, shooting up two luxury hotels, a Jewish center, and a train station during a siege that lasted several days.

The board refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeeds aides. "It's because of Kashmir that India is after me, but all her efforts have been in vain and Allah has set me free", he said in the video released by his party's media team. Pakistan's Punjab government however had sought a three-month extension in his detention saying that the country may face worldwide sanctions if the JuD was released from house arrest.

He heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Islamist charity, which is alleged to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.

Hafiz Saeed has been under house arrest since January this year and was detained after vast pressure on the federal government by the United States (USA) and severe reservations by India.