Pakistan justifies Hafiz Saeed’s release

Pakistan has justified the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, claiming that Islamabad was committed to the implementation of United Nations Security Council 1267 sanctions regime on terrorists and has taken several steps in this regard.

Saeed, who has a $10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, was freed by Pakistan on Friday. He is a U.N. and United States designated terrorist.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said Saeed’s release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including individuals and entities designated by the U.N. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Thursday, “It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system 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.”

Responding to Mr. Kumar’s comments, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “The [MEA] spokesperson took exception to self-serving insinuations,” he said in statement issued late last night.

Mr. Faisal said that courts in Pakistan, pursuant to their constitutional duty, were determined to uphold the rule of law and due process for all citizens of Pakistan.

Legal processes were anchored in the rule of law, not dictates of politics and posturing. “It is in the interest of all states to speak and act in a manner that is consistent with the imperatives of adhering to rule of law at the national and international levels.”

”Pakistan’s resolve, actions and successes in the fight against terrorism, terrorist violence and terrorists are unmatched in the world. Pakistan condemns and opposes all forms of terrorism by any individual or group,” Mr. Faisal said.

Saeed, in his late 60s, had been under house arrest for 297 days from January last. His release after Friday midnight came ahead of the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.

Saeed was individually designated by the U.N. under the Security Council Resolution 1267 in December, 2008.