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Hafiz Saeed Freed by Lahore High Court

Hafiz Saeed Freed by Lahore High Court

Firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed, who heads the United Nations -listed terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and has a $10 million US bounty on his head, will be freed tomorrow after less than a year in detention following the decision by the Lahore High Court, a Dawa official said.

Saeed, who has a $10 million USA bounty on his head, spoke at Friday prayers in a mosque in the city of Lahore after being freed from house arrest by a court that said there was no evidence to hold him. "It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists". He is listed on India's National Investigation Agency's Most Wanted list and his organization is banned in India, as well as in the U.S., the United Kingdom, the EU, Russia, and Australia.

The department also said that his release may warrant worldwide sanctions against Pakistan. Now his arrest and trial have become more dubious than ever, since on Friday he was freed by Pakistan after less than a year under house arrest.

Saeed also heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, which is believed to be a front for Lashkar. "This is a great step for freedom for Pakistan".

Saeed is said to be the head of the US -designated terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba and had been under house arrest since 31 January this year. "Instead this act was staged by the Indian intelligence service so India could afterwards tighten its anti-terror laws".

A high alert has been declared in Jammu and Kashmir following the release of Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed. He is also quoted as saying, "There can not be any peace while India remains intact. Now he is a free man", Ahmad said.

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.

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Punjab Assistant Advocate General Sattar Sahil said the government law officer had presented "some important evidence" to justify Saeed's detention, but all three members of the board unanimously rejected it and ordered his release.

The court had warned the government last month that it would end Saeed's house arrest if enough evidence was not submitted against him.

Saeed and his four aides had been under house arrest since January under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

"It's because of Kashmir that India is after me, but all her efforts have been in vain and Allah has set me free".

"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. I fight for the cause of Kashmiris.

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


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