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'FYI, He Lived Freely': US Committee Refutes Trump's Claim on Hafiz Saeed, Says 'Hold Applause' Till Conviction

The US legislative committee highlighted that the 26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed had been living freely in Pakistan and there was no search operation underway for ten years, as stated by Donald Trump.


Updated:July 18, 2019, 10:51 AM IST
'FYI, He Lived Freely': US Committee Refutes Trump's Claim on Hafiz Saeed, Says 'Hold Applause' Till Conviction
File photo of Hafiz Saeed.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday refuted US President Donald Trump's tweet on UN-proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed, denying his claim that Pakistan was searching for Saeed for ten years.

The legislative committee highlighted in a tweet that the 26/11 terror attack mastermind had been living freely in Pakistan and there was no search operation underway for ten years, as stated by the US president.

"FYI Pakistan wasn't searching for him for 10 years. He's been living freely and was arrested and released in December 2001, May 2002, October 2002, and August 2006 (twice), December 2008, September 2009, and January 2017. Let's hold the (applause) until he's convicted," the committee tweeted.

Hafiz Saeed was arrested on Wednesday while he was on his way to an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala to seek bail.

US President Donald Trump hailed Saeed's detention and said it was a result of "great pressure" exerted by his administration on Pakistan in the last two years that put their 10-year-old search operation on fast track.

"After a ten year search, the so-called 'mastermind' of the Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!" said Trump who is scheduled to meet Khan at his Oval Office on Monday, July 22.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief's arrest came just two days after an anti-terrorism court in Lahore had granted three of his aides and him an interim bail until August 31 against surety bonds of PKR 50,000 each.

Saeed, a UN designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to get pre-arrest bail in terror financing cases registered against him there when he was arrested, a CTD official told the news agency PTI.

On July 3, the banned terror outfit's top 13 leaders -- including Hafiz Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki -- were charged in Pakistan in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. He was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

Under pressure from the international community, Pakistani authorities have launched investigations into matters of the LeT, the JuD and its charity wing the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) regarding their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terrorism financing.

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