‘FYI, He’s Been Living Freely’: Trump Mocked for Hafiz Saeed Tweet

“After a ten-year search, the so-called ‘mastermind’ of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested,” Trump wrote. 

2 min read
“After a 10 year search, the so-called ‘mastermind’ of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested,” Trump wrote. 

US President Donald Trump is being slammed widely on Twitter for his tweet on 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed being arrested in Pakistan.

"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!," Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, 17 July.

Many on the social media platform mocked the US president over his reference to a "ten year search" and “finding him” pointing out that he had been "living freely" and has been "routinely freed then detained, then released again".

In fact, the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee criticised Trump for his tweet. The Democratic party-majority in a tweet told Trump that Saeed was living freely and Pakistan was not searching for him for 10 years.

Former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani also contested Trump's tweet and said that the official who gave the president such information should be fired.

Saeed has been arrested and released several times, usually just before high level visits by US officials to Pakistan or Pakistani officials to America, Haqqani said, reported PTI.

He was also detained soon after the 9/11 and the Mumbai attacks to appease the Americans. He has never been brought to trial and has been allowed to operate freely, including participation in last year's elections, he said.

There is no evidence or reason to believe that things will be different this time around. Pakistan supports and protects anti-India militants as an instrument of policy and has shown no interest in giving it up, Haqqani said.

He said Pakistan's generals and politicians from Prime Minister Imran Khan's party have praised Saeed until recently.

"Clearly they are trying an old trick on a new US President," Haqqani said.

‘What is This So-Called?’

Some also objected to Trump using "so-called 'mastermind' of the Mumbai Terror attacks" to describe Hafiz Saeed.

Arrest Comes Before Pak PM’s Visit to the US

Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including American nationals. He was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

Trump has repeatedly asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds.

Saeed, a UN designated terrorist whom the US has placed a $10 million bounty on, was arrested by the anti-terrorism authorities of the Punjab Province while he was going to Gujranwala from Lahore on Wednesday, 17 July.

A Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) team intercepted him near Gujranwala city and arrested him on terror financing charges.

Saeed's arrest comes just days ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to the US and talks with President Trump, who has previously admonished Pakistan for not doing enough to rein in terror groups operating from its soil.

Trump is scheduled to meet Khan at his Oval Office on Monday, 22 July.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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