New Delhi, Nov 23: Reacting sharply to a Pakistan court’s decision to set 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed free, India on Thursday said the move has once again exposed Islamabad’s policy of shielding terrorists.
Interacting with the media in New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that Saeed, who heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), is a self-confessed terrorist and his release from house arrest shows how serious Pakistan is in the fight against terrorism.
“His (Saeed’s) release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistan government, also appears to be an attempt by Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists,” Raveesh Kumar said.
“India, as indeed the entire International community, is outraged that a self confessed and a UN proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda,” he added.
“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 top Indian official said.
Soon after a Pakistani court’s order setting him free, Hafiz Saeed, in a video, threatened India, saying he will continue to fight for Kashmir’s ‘freedom’. (Watch: Hafiz Saeed Spews Venom Against India)
The video, which was posted on the JuD’s Twitter handle, shows Saeed, who has been declared a global terrorist by the United Nations, thanking Pakistani authorities for his release.
“Mubarakbad (thanks) to all the judges and authorities…a few people objected to the decision (him being released) but the judges rejected their arguments. I want all the judges of Lahore High Court who were with me,” Saeed said in the video message.
“I am fighting for Kashmir’s independence. I pray to god that may He help me and my community in getting the freedom for Kashmir. India is after me but all its attempted against me have gone in waste,” he added.
On January 31, Saeed and his four aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997.
Saeed’s four aides were set free in the last week of October. The US has offered a US$ 10 million bounty for Saaed, who has been declared a global terrorist by the United Nations.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack.