New DelhiIndia on Friday warned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed to be prepared for a “resounding response” as he pledged to continue “jihad” in Jammu and Kashmir after a Pakistani court ended his 10 months of house arrest.
The statement Saeed made after his release in Lahore was a “re-articulation of the agenda of terrorist constituency”, a Home Ministry official here said.
“The principal and consistent stand of the government of India is that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Recent statements of Saeed are simply a re-articulation of the agenda of terrorist constituency which thrives across the border,” the official said.
“Such statements have been made repeatedly in the past and each time they have received an appropriate and resounding response on the ground from the people as well as law enforcement agencies,” said the official without elaborating.
Saeed, who carries a $10 million bounty announced by the US for his role in terror activities, made the comment to supporters gathered outside his Lahore residence.
“Just as I am free today, Kashmir will also be free one day,” Saeed said after midnight Thursday. “It is because of Kashmir that India has been after me. I pray to Allah to give us strength so that we keep fighting for Kashmir’s independence (from India).”
Hafiz Vows To Fight For Kashmir
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed who walked from house arrest as a free man and moments after the release he said he will gather people across Pakistan for the “cause of Kashmir” and help the Kashmiris secure “freedom”.
The JuD head, who carries a bounty of $10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities, was set free after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any case. He has been under detention since January this year.
“I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir,” Saeed told his supporters who gathered outside his residence to celebrate his release.
The Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) yesterday unanimously ordered Saeed’s release on the completion of his 30-day house arrest which expired tonight.
“I fight the case of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir. And we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom.”
Saeed said he was detained when he announced a month of solidarity for Kashmiris this January. He used the release order to buttress his claims of “innocence”.
“I am very happy that none of the allegations against me proved three judges of the LHC ordered my release …India had levelled baseless allegations against me. The LHC’s review board decision has proved that I am innocent,” Saeed said.
The JuD chief said that the US, on India’s request, pressured Pakistan to detain him.
“… I was detained on the pressure of the US on the Pakistani government. The US did so on the request of India,” he claimed.
Several JuD activists gathered outside Saeed’s residence in Jauhar town in Lahore to celebrate his release.
They shouted anti-India slogans and described his leader as “a hope for Kashmiri people”.
“We are happy to see our leader free,” a JuD spokesman Ahmad Nadim told PTI.
“Hafiz sahib received his release order from the jail officials. Now he is a free man,” Ahmad said. He said after his release Saeed thanked to his supporters gathered outside his house.
“Saeed has been freed as the Punjab government decided not to detain him further in any other case,” a top official in the government told PTI.
Arrest, charge Hafiz Saeed: US to Pak
US official on Friday said Washington is deeply concerned at the release of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.
Hafiz Saeed, who had been under house arrest since January, was freed by a Pakistani court this week and preached on Friday at a mosque in Lahore.
US State Departmentspokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saeeds organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including American citizens.
The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes, Nauert said in a statement.(ToI)
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