Hafiz Saeed, a U.S.-designated terrorist with a $10 million bounty on his head, walks the streets of Pakistan freely, publicly calling for violence against the U.S. and India.
Saeed is the leader of the terrorist organization Lashkar E Toiba (LET), a Pakistani militant organization connected to Al Qaida that focuses on targeting India. LET planned and executed the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 10 Pakistani gunmen slaughtered 168 people on the streets of Mumbai for 2 harrowing days.
LET was founded by the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) which is dominated by radical islamic extremists who have long supported an Islamic insurgency against India. ISI also has known ties to the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban which killed thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Saeed focuses his rhetoric on the disputed territory of Kashmir and the U.S., India and Pakistan have repeatedly flared over territorial disputes in Kashmir. Both countries believe they have a right to it, and have reached an uneasy truce at the “line of control” which divides Kashmir between the two countries. India claims Pakistan has developed and supported ongoing jihadist efforts to mount guerilla war in Kashmir and kill Indian civilians, while Saeed chooses to emphasize the recent Indian killing of known Kashmiri terrorist, Burhan Wani, in a raid on July 10.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed public shock at the killing and called it counterproductive. Saeed concurred with Sharif, telling the Associated Press, “When India martyred him, then the common Kashmiri joined the movement.”
“Many times I have been arrested on the order of America and India … (but) the Lahore high court freed me and also my organization, saying we were innocent of terrorism charges and did not participate in any terrorist activities,” Saeed told the Associated Press, confirming Pakistan’s complicity in his release. Pakistan has pretended to crack down on LET, ostensibly outlawing the group, but has allowed its leaders freedom of movement as long as operations are focused on India.
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