Pakistan releases militant wanted by US

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Pakistan releases militant wanted by US

India 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 US on Friday expressed deep concern at the release from house arrest of Hafiz Saeed, accused by India of being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and called on Islamabad to ensure he was arrested and charged for his crimes.

"The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes", the statement by the embassy's spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

Late on Thursday night, Pakistan formally released Hafiz Saeed and withdrew the jail staff from his Johar Town residence in Lahore.

Saying he was "fighting for the freedom of Pakistan and Kashmir", he said he had been put under house arrest for fighting for the rights of Kashmiris and Pakistani leaders were making decisions under external pressure.

It is the responsibility of the Pakistani government to fulfil its worldwide obligations and take credible and effective action against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed.

LeT is accused of several bloody attacks, most notably the 2008 Mumbai attack that left almost 166 people dead, including six U.S. citizens and other Western nationals. "India, as indeed the entire global community, is outraged that a self-confessed and United Nations proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda", foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had saidon Thursday. Using the release order to buttress his claim of innocence, Saeed said, "I am very happy that none of the allegations against me were proved as three judges of the LHC ordered my release".

In 2006, the Pakistani government held him for several months for activities "detrimental" to its relations with other governments.

Saeed is also a popular cleric in Pakistan, which may be one reason the government let him go.

"I fight for the cause of Kashmiris".

Saeed's four aides were set free in the last week of October. "I want to tell you that you were ousted from power because you committed treason for trying to develop close relations with Prime Minister Modi, who is the killer of hundreds of Muslims", Saeed said in aFridayprayer sermon at the Markaz Al-Qadsia in Lahore.

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