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Hafiz release exposes Pakistan’s true face: India

The decision to set free Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai massacre, shows Pakistan’s “true face”, the Indian government said on Thursday.

“His (imminent) release confirms once again the lack of seriousness on the part of Pakistani government in bringing to justice perpetrators of heinous acts of terrorism including by individuals and entities designated by the UN,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters.

“It is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see.

“It is the responsibility of the Pakistani government to fulfil its international obligations and take credible and effective action against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed,” Kumar said.

The Indian reaction came a day after the Lahore High Court ordered Saeed to be freed after about 10 months of house arrest, citing lack of evidence against him.

Kumar said the release of Saeed appeared to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists.

Kumar said Saeed was not only the “mastermind” of the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 Indians and foreigners but also the “prime organiser” behind the horror. India also blamed him for unleashing terror attacks against Pakistan’s neighbours.

Kumar said India and the entire international community was outraged that a self-confessed and UN proscribed terrorist was allowed to “walk free” and continue with his “evil agenda”.

Saeed and his four aides — Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal Shahbaz, Abdur Rehman and Qazi Kashif Hussain — have been under house arrest since January under the Anti-Terrorism Act.