‘We believe Hafiz Saeed should be prosecuted, we’ve made that very clear to Pakistan,’ says US

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NEW DELHI: The US firmly believes Pakistan needs to prosecute terrorist Hafiz Saeed and it has made this “very clear” to Islamabad, which recently said there is no case against 26/11 Mumbai terror mastermind.

A US state department spokeswoman today reiterated and underlined Washington’s view on Saeed, saying she’s aware that Pakistan’s prime minister said two days ago that Saeed can’t be prosecuted because there is no case against him.

“We have made our points and our concerns to the Pakistani Government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted…. We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman at the US State Department.

Two days ago, Pakistan’s prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi referred to Saeed as ‘sahib’, or ‘sir’, and said there is no case against him in Pakistan, therefore no action can be taken against him. However, earlier in the month, Pakistan’s interior ministry ‘blacklisted’ Saeed and his group the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

Pakistan may be confused about Saeed, but the US is not. To make it very clear what Washington’s view is, Nauert further said todat the US regards Saeed a terrorist and part of a foreign terror group. The US has a $10 million reward for information on Saeed.

“He was the mastermind, we believe, of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many people, including Americans as well,” said Nauert of Saeed.

Not only the US, the United Nations (UN) too considers him a terrorist, Nauert said. And the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a terror group Saeed’s affiliated too, is also designated a foreign terror organisation by the UN.

“He (Saeed) is listed by the UN Security Council 1267, the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e Toiba, which is a designated foreign terror organization. So, I just want to remind people of that, of who this individual is, and make it clear that we have addressed our concerns with the Pakistani Government,” said Nauert.

Days after Saeed was released from house arrest following a Lahore high court order – in late November – the US State Department said it hopes Pakistan “does the right thing” and takes action against him.

“I can tell you that his organization – his organization that was responsible for those attacks – is considered a foreign terror organization. It’s considered a foreign terror organization by the U.S. Government for a reason and for a good reason…I hope they’ll do the right thing,” said Nauert last month, referring to the Pakistan government.

Even then, she sought to remind everyone that the US considers Saeed a terrorist and his LeT a terror organisation.

“I can tell you that his organization – his organization that was responsible for those attacks – is considered a foreign terror organization. It’s considered a foreign terror organization by the U.S. Government for a reason and for a good reason,” said Nauert last month.courtesy Times of lndia

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