India outraged at move to release Hafiz Saeed

Ministry of External Affairs terms it an attempt by Pakistan to “mainstream” proscribed terrorists.

Updated - November 23, 2017 09:03 pm IST

Published - November 23, 2017 04:54 pm IST

Hafiz Saeed reacts to supporters as he walks out of a Lahore court after it ordered his release from house arrest on November 22, 2017.

Hafiz Saeed reacts to supporters as he walks out of a Lahore court after it ordered his release from house arrest on November 22, 2017.

India is outraged at 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.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Saeed’s release once again confirmed the lack of seriousness on the part of the Pakistan government in bringing perpetrators of terrorism to justice, including individuals and entities so designated by the United Nations.

“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 said at a press conference.

A Pakistani judicial body on November 23 ordered the release of Saeed from house arrest, which was seen as a setback to India’s efforts to nab those involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which many Indians and nationals of several other countries were killed.

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

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

The banned Jama’at-ud-Da’wah head, who carries a bounty of $10 million announced by the U.S. for his role in terror activities, has been under detention since January.

Replying to a question on whether the Donald Trump administration was being soft on dealing with terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Mr. Kumar called the observation wrong. He said both India and the U.S. were on the “same page” in combating terrorism.

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