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Lahore: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed walks free from house arrest

25 November 2017

Pakistani authorities acting on a court order released a USA -wanted militant Friday who allegedly founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai, India attack that killed 168 people, his spokesman and officials said. He has been under detention since January this year.

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered the release of one of the alleged masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed more than 160 people, after months of USA pressure on Islamabad over its alleged support for militants. "He is also responsible for unleashing numerous other terror attacks against Pakistan's neighbours".

Saeed, however, said Sharif deserved to be removed for his peace overtures with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "I pray to god that may He help me and my community in getting the freedom for Kashmir". India pressurized Pakistan through thr United States. Reacting to the Pakistani judicial body's order, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We have read reports on the release of internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed from house arrest by Pakistan".

"I was detained due to pressure from India".

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

Saeed, whose supporters celebrated his release, was expected to deliver a sermon at a mosque in Lahore during Friday prayers amid tight security.

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Saeed's advocate A.K. Dogar earlier said the JuD leaders had been detained merely on the basis of allegations, without any substantial evidence against them, and called the call for extending the detention "illegal" and a "violation of basic rights".

India, however, showed its anger over the decision of the judicial board to release Saeed, saying it a stab by Pakistan to mainstream banned terrorists and a reflection of its ongoing support to non-state actors.

"It remains to be seen as how would the PML-N government handle the foreign pressure to again detain Saeed", they said. The last two extensions were made on the "public safety law".

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.

The LeT chief had been produced before the review board by Pakistan's Punjab government on 21 November.

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

Lahore: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed walks free from house arrest