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Hafiz Saeed's Continued Freedom Is A Tremendous Concern To The US, Says US State Dept

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 18 , 2018 , 14:28 IST

The mastermind of the 26/11 blasts in Mumbai, Hafiz Saeed is a designated terrorist who continues to roam free in Pakistan, to which the United States on Friday expressed 'tremendous concern'.

"He (Hafiz Saeed) is out in the open, it is a tremendous concern to the US. We have a reward on him, for his arrest," US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

Nauert had been responding to questions regarding the statement of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif admitting that Pakistani terrorists or "non-state actors" were responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

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The US State Department spokesperson also emphasised the strong ties between the US and India, saying, "We have a very strong relationship with Prime Minister Modi’s government. We have strong people-to-people ties with the Indian State department."

India, as well as the US, have blamed Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba for the 2008 attack in Mumbai which resulted in the death of 160. While Pakistan admitted that the attacks were planned on its soil, it denied any official involvement.

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After India approached the United Nations against Saeed, he was briefly put under 'house arrest' in Pakistan in 2008, but was released a year later, and was once again placed in house arrest in January 2017, only to be released the same year in November.

Apart from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia have also banned Lashkar-e-Toiba as a terrorist organisation, with the US offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hafiz Saeed.

In August 2017, Hafiz Saeed himself launched a political party Milli Muslim League, as a front for LeT, but the Milli Muslim League was designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organisation in April 2018.