The US State Department on Friday, 18 May, expressed its concern about the continued freedom of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, in relation to the controversial statement put forth by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sharif, in a recent interview with Dawn, had said: "Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can't we complete the trial?"
Sharif’s statement had been met with a lot of global criticism, since it is being seen as an “admission” of Pakistan’s involvement in the attacks, a DNA report states.
Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the US State Department, added that the US had imposed a reward for Saeed’s arrest, who has been commonly considered the “mastermind” behind the Mumbai attacks, ANI reports.
We are concerned about the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. And he’s a Lashkar-e-Taiba guy who was being held in Pakistan, and he was eventually let out on house arrest, and we have a reward out for him.Heather Nauert, as reported by ANI
She added that the reward in question was for his arrest, and not for information leading to his arrest.
This isn’t the first time that the US had spoken out against Saeed.
On several occasions, it had requested that Islamabad prosecute Saeed "to the fullest extent of law" and had condemned Pakistan’s decision to release him from house arrest in November, 2017.
‘Strong Relationship with Modi Government’
In terms of the Mumbai attacks, Nauert also stated that the US fully backed India and said that the US harboured a “strong relationship” with India under the Modi government, reports ANI.
We have a very strong relationship with Prime Minister Modi’s government. We have strong people-to-people ties with the Indian State department.Heather Nauert, as reported by ANI
(With inputs from ANI and DNA)