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Pakistan court releases Hafiz Saeed

June 2, 2009 at 9:07 AM
| License Photo

LAHORE, Pakistan, June 2 (UPI) -- The release of the leader of a group tied to the Mumbai attacks Tuesday drew outrage from India, which said it doubts Pakistan's sincerity in fighting terror.

Hafiz Saeed had been under house arrest since the violent November attacks in India's entertainment and financial hub. He was released by the Lahore High Court after his attorneys submitted a petition in which they called his detention illegal, CNN reported.

Saeed heads the group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which he says provides social welfare programs to poor Pakistanis but India says is a front for the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba.

A.K. Dogar, Saeed's lawyer, said his client had no ties to terror activities and authorities found no arms in his possession. He said the detention was based on a U.N. Security Council action against Lashkar-e-Toiba that was misinterpreted by Pakistani officials. Saeed, a founder of the LeT, was added to a U.N. terrorist watch list after the Mumbai attacks, the BBC reported.

After Saeed's release, India voiced "serious doubts" about Pakistan's "sincerity" in dealing with terrorism, CNN said.

Saeed, along with Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, had a "long and well-established background of planning and launching terrorist acts against India," Vishnu Prakash, India's external affairs ministry spokesman, told reporters. "His release raises serious doubts about Pakistan's sincerity in acting with determination against terrorist groups and individuals operating from its territory."

About 10 gunmen unleashed terror attacks on Mumbai for four days and three nights in November, killing more than 160 people as they took over three luxury hotels and a Jewish center.

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