Hours after he was released from a nearly year-long house arrest, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed launched a scathing attack on ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for “betraying the people of Kashmir.”
“You took oath to defend Pakistan and Kashmir, you betrayed the people of Kashmir. I want to tell you that you were ousted from power because you committed treason for trying to develop close relations with [Prime Minister] Modi, who is the killer of hundreds of Muslims,” Saeed said addressing a Friday congegration at the Markaz Al-Qadsia in Lahore.
Saeed, who has a $10 million US bounty on his head and is accused by India of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed over 160 people, was freed earlier in the day from 11 months of house arrest by Judicial Review Board of the Lahore High Court, which said there was no evidence to hold him.
The board also rejected the request of the government of Pakistani Punjab for further extension of his house arrest.
Pakistani authorities decided not to file any other case against him and police guards were removed from his residence after midnight of Thursday where a large number of supporters gathered to celebrate the end of his house arrest.
Saeed was placed under house arrest in January while Nawaz was still prime minister.
A picture of Saeed was posted by his social media team where he is seen cutting a cake after his release. The post was titled ‘The Freedom Cake’.
Saeed addressed his supporters at his Johar Town residence in Lahore in which he vowed to continue his struggle to free Kashmir from India. “Although there are only few days left in this year, we will continue our struggle in the next year and mobilise people and take forward our movement to free Kashmir. God willing with the support of people we will take Kashmir to its destiny,” he sad.
Saeed has been designated a “terrorist” by the U.N., the U.S. and India.
Last month, Pakistani authorities withdrew terrorism charges against him and the JuD and kept him under detention under the Maintenance of public Order (MPO), paving the way for a possible release. His detention was extended five times since he was held in a crackdown after the government put the JuD and its charity arm, Falah-i-Insaaniyat Foundation, under sanctions and terror watch list.