USA sharpens criticism of Pakistan over alleged terror leader

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The United States on Friday expressed deep concerns over the release of banned Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest in Pakistan.

"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".

As the Indian city of Mumbai commemorated the 2008 terror attacks that left 168 people dead, relatives of the victims said Sunday that they're angry Pakistan has released a militant linked to the massacre.

Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10 million United States bounty on his head over the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including Americans, spoke at Friday prayers after being freed from house arrest by a court that said there was no evidence to hold him.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the 26/11 atta-cks on Mumbai nine years ago, who was freed from house arrest late on Thursday night, on Friday attacked Pakistan's ousted PM Nawaz Sharif as a "traitor" for advocating peace with India.

"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", Sanders said in a statement, reflecting the Trump administration's outrage at Saeed's release.

"The Pakistani government now has an opportunity to demonstrate its seriousness in confronting all forms of terrorism, without distinction, by arresting and charging Hafiz Saeed for his crimes", Sanders said. While the world reacted harshly, Saeed celebrated his release with candies and cake cutting in Pakistan.

Pakistani authorities on Friday released the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks who has a $10 million US bounty on his head.

Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

The State Department called on Pakistan to arrest a cleric accused of masterminding a 2008 terrorist attack in India after his release from detention Friday.

Saeed attacked government of Pakistan for "taking dictation from foreign masters" and spoke about "Indian atrocities" in Kashmir. "They play everyone, whether it's China or the terrorists or us".

"Nawaz Sharif asks why he was ousted?"

"I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir", Saeed told supporters who gathered outside his residence to celebrate his release.

The United States today engages in extensive economic, social, and scientific assistance as well as vital military relations with Pakistan, which is believed to own a stockpile of 80 to 100 nuclear weapons.

Pakistan denies that. While Saeed was under house arrest, his JuD charity launched a political party, the Milli Muslim League (MML), which has won thousands of votes in by-elections.

Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, said the release by Pakistan was adding salt to India's wounds.

For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the USA for not doing enough in their counterterrorism efforts to end the Afghan war - the longest military engagement in America's history.

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