ISLAMABAD: The US said it was “deeply concerned” Friday after Pakistan freed Hafiz Saeed 5 despite months of pressure from Washington over militancy.
The statement came as firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed, who heads the UN-listed terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and has a $10 million US bounty on his head, led prayers and met with supporters in Lahore Friday after his midnight release.
JuD, which has operated freely across Pakistan and is popular for its charity work, is considered by the US and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens,” US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said.
“The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes.”
The $10 million bounty for Saeed first offered in 2012 still stands, Nauert added.
The court’s decision to release Saeed after Islamabad failed to provide evidence against him came after US President Donald Trump in August angrily accused Pakistan of harbouring “agents of chaos” and called for a militant crackdown.—AFP