India concerned over Hafiz Saeedís likely political entry

India concerned over Hafiz Saeedís likely political entry

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New Delhi, 05 Aug 2017: India on Friday expressed concerns over reports that Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 terror Mumbai attacks, had planned to turn his outfit Jamat-ud-Dawa to a political party into Pakistan.


“It is ironic and disconcerting that Hafiz Saeed is trying to cover his blood-stained hands with ballot ink. We are concerned about this,” Gopal Baglay, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said.

Saeed lives in Lahore in Pakistan and heads the Jamat-ud-Dawa, which is believed to be a front of the outlawed terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba. He is suspected to be the brain behind the LeT’s November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. The media reports indicated that the JuD chief would soon turn his organisation into a political party — Milli Muslim League — and register it.


“After killing with bullets, does he want to hide behind the ballot?” questioned the MEA spokesperson when a journalist sought New Delhi’s reaction to reports about Saeed his outfit registered as a political party.


The US designated Saeed as a terrorist with links to international terror networks back in May 2008, just a few months before the LeT terrorists carried out the November 26-28, 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai, killing over 170 people and injuring many others.


He was also designated as a terrorist by the United Nations in December 2008 and brought under international sanctions. The US also declared a bounty of $10 million on the radical cleric in April 2012.


However, Saeed has been living free in Pakistan. Islamabad has been citing lack of evidence as a reason for not taking any action against him, despite repeated pleas by New Delhi.


It was only in February this year that Pakistan government put Saeed under house arrest.


On China again stalling India’s move to place another Pakistan-based terrorist leader Masood Azhar under United Nations’ sanction, Baglay said: “We can only hope that all these countries which share our concerns regarding the menace of international terrorism will cooperate in fighting all forms of terrorism.”

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