No Case Against Hafiz Saeed "Sahib", Says Pak PM Shahid Abbasi

Lashkar-e Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, who carries a US-announced $1 million bounty on his head, was released by Pakistan after a 10-month house arrest in November.

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No Case Against Hafiz Saeed 'Sahib', Says Pak PM Shahid Abbasi

Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest in November. (File Photo)


New Delhi:  More than a month after the release of Hafiz Saeed from house arrest, Pakistan's Prime Minister said "there is no case" against him in the country, using the honorific "sahib" to describe the terror chief who masterminded the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai nine years ago. The Lashkar-e Taiba chief, who carries a US-announced $1 million bounty on his head, was released after a 10-month house arrest in November. Since his release, there have been reports that he will be running for elected office this year, which has caused concern in India and the US.

Explaining the decision against detaining him further, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in an interview to Geo TV, said, "There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan".

Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest on January 31. The step was seen to have been largely under US pressure. But in November, days after the US Congress approved a bill to delink military aid to Pakistan and Islamabad's crackdown on the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed was released.

Pakistan said under their laws, the government can detain a person for up to three months under different charges but to extend it, approval is needed from a judicial review board. The review board had refused to give further extension to Hafiz Saeed and his aides.

But the release of Hafiz Saeed busted Pakistan's many claims of controlling terror in southeast Asia. Last month, the Donald Trump administration said it was putting Pakistan on "notice" for harbouring the Taliban and other terror organisations.

"For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over," US Vice President Mike Pence had told American troops just before Christmas.


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