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Pakistan wasn’t searching for Hafiz Saeed, he was living freely: US committee counters Donald Trump

Washington [USA]: The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday countered US President Donald Trump’s tweet on UN-proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed. The legislative committee highlighted that Pakistan was not searching for the 26/11 terror attack mastermind for 10 years — as claimed by Trump. Hafiz was living freely in the country, they added.

“FYI Pakistan wasn’t searching for him for 10 years. He’s been living freely and was arrested and released in December 2001, May 2002, October 2002, August 2006 (twice), December 2008, September 2009, January 2017. Let’s hold the (applause) until he’s convicted,” the committee tweeted. Saeed was arrested on Wednesday while he was on his way to an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala to seek bail.

Reacting to the development, Trump tweeted, “After a ten-year search, the so-called “mastermind” of the Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!” The Jama’at-ud-Da’wah’s (JuD) chief’s arrest came just two days after an anti-terrorism court in Lahore had granted three of his aides and him an interim bail until August 31 against surety bonds of PKR 50,000 each.

On July 3, the banned terror outfit’s top 13 leaders — including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki — were booked in Pakistan in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. It is believed that Pakistan has taken the steps in the wake of the upcoming meeting between Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington and the possibility of being blacklisted by the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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