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Hafiz Saeed set to walk free
25 November 2017, 12:50 | Simon Arnold
Hafiz Saeed's release shows Pakistan's attempt to mainstream proscribed terrorists says outraged India
A day after a Pakistan court ordered release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed from house arrest, India expressed "outrage" and said his release confirms "lack of seriousness" on the part of Pakistan's government in bringing to justice perpetrators of heinous acts of terrorism and is an attempt to "mainstream proscribed terrorists". "Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see", he said.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack.
"When the government was not able to present any evidence to justify [Saeed's] continued detention, the court ordered his release when his current detention order expires" on Thursday, said his spokesman, Nadeem Awan, to Al Jazeera.
India has said it has evidence that Saeed was involved in the Mumbai attack, but Islamabad has long said sufficient evidence is not available to charge him.
Saeed and his four aides had been under house arrest since January under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
In 2006, the Pakistani government held him for several months for activities "detrimental" to its relations with other governments.
Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement in the 2008 Mumbai violence in which 10 gunmen attacked targets in India's largest city, including two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a railway station.
Following the decision, Saeed told media that an end to his detention was tantamount to the victory of truth and called the decision "a serious blow" to India's demands that he be kept in custody and punished for the 2008 massacre, Dawn online reported.
Saeed, whose supporters celebrated his release, was expected to deliver a sermon at a mosque in Lahore during Friday prayers amid tight security.
Saeed after being freed promised that he would fight for the cause of Kashmir. Pakistan's Punjab government however had sought a three-month extension in his detention saying that the country may face global sanctions if the JuD was released from house arrest.
The board refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeed's aides. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and executed after a court found him guilty.
Saeed has been declared a global terrorist by the United Nations and the U.S. for his role in the Mumbai attack which claimed the lives of 166 people and maimed over 300 others.
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