Hafiz's 'jihad' threat in Kashmir part of terror agenda

"The White House said in a statement, "(Hafiz) Saeed's release, after Pakistan's failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan's commitment to (combating) global terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil".

The White House press secretary said LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens.

"If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan's global reputation", it added.

While some in Pakistan may wish to see Mr Saeed placed on trial, there is widespread suspicion among Indian and United States officials that he still retains close links to the country's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been long blamed for sponsoring numerous cross-border attacks on Indian targets.

"It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see".

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief walked free from his 300-day house arrest on Friday after a review board of the Lahore High Court refused to extend his detention as the Pakistan government failed to convince the court that his release would invite diplomatic and financial hardships for the country. The court said that government has failed to provide enough evidences against Saeed.

The United States Department of the Treasury, in May 2008, had designated Saeed as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" under the Executive Order 13224.

Hafiz's 'jihad' threat in Kashmir part of terror agenda

Saeed is allegedly the founder of a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai, India, attack that killed 168 people. LeT and several of its front organisations, leaders and operatives remain under both state department and treasury department sanctions.

It was in 2012 that the United States announced its offer of $10 million reward "for information that brings Saeed to justice", Nauert mentioned.

President Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of harboring "agents of chaos", and warned Pakistan to change its behavior or face tough USA measures.

India reacted to Saeed's release with fury, describing it as "an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists".

Saeed also insisted why the ex- Prime Minister Sharif was made to step down. "I want Kashmir's freedom from India and this is my crime". He said Mr Sharif had committed "treason" by seeking friendship with India and ignoring the "Kashmir cause" while delivering a sermon at the JuD headquarters in Lahore.

US President Donald Trump has demanded that Pakistani leaders take tougher action against terrorists.

  • Tracy Klein