US Targetting me for opposing NATO supply
April 06, 2012
Slamming the US for announcing $10 million bounty, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed said that US took this step because he was protesting against the opening of supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan. According to a report published in Aljazeera, Saeed said the US move was prompted by the fact that he has been organizing rallies against the opening of supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Hafiz Saeed’s lawyer said that it is an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Pakistan closed down the supply route to the NATO forces after US cross-border attack had killed 28 Pakistani soldiers in November. Hafiz Saeed was held after the Mumbai attacks but released without charge. The US has offered a $10m (£6.2m) bounty for Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.
Mr Saeed now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, widely seen as a front for LeT - which is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India. A $2m bounty was also announced on Abdul Rehman Makki, Mr Saeed's brother-in-law and co-founder of Lashkar. Both Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashkar-e-Taiba are blacklisted by the US.
The US announced the award for their capture or information leading to their capture, officials said. The three-day rampage in November 2008 by 10 gunmen in Mumbai left 165 people dead. Nine of the attackers were also killed.
India blamed the Mumbai attacks on LeT, and India-Pakistan ties hit rock bottom. The sole surviving gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, was captured and sentenced to death by a court. His appeal is pending.
Mr Saeed figures prominently on a list of "most wanted" given to Pakistan by India. Jamaat-ud-Dawa denies it operates as a front for militancy. He was held after the Mumbai attacks but released without charge. The US State Department's Rewards for Justice website describes Mr Saeed as "a Pakistani citizen" with "red hair" and "brown eyes".
India welcomed the announcement of the reward. "It reflects the commitment of India and the United States to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice and continuing efforts to combat terrorism," the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
"It also sends a strong signal to LeT as also its members and patrons that the international community remains united in combating terrorism," it added.
Interpol has issued an arrest notice against Mr Saeed for his role in the Mumbai attacks and the US has designated LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa as "Foreign Terrorist Organisations".