Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi created a furore a few days back when in an interview to Pakistani TV channel Geo TV, he refereed to terrorist and 26/11 attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed as “Sahab”, and claimed that no case was registered against Saeed due to which no action can be taken against him.
Abbasi took over from Nawaz Sharif in August 2017, after the latter got embroiled in the Panama Papers scandal.
Following this statement by Abbasi, the US state department has now come-up with a press statement slamming the Pakistani PM’s quip about no statement being registered against Hafiz Saeed:
#BREAKING: US @StateDept hits out at Pakistan Govt after Pakistan PM says not a single case pending against Hafiz Saeed ‘Sahab’. ‘This Guy is a Terrorist. He is mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many innocents including American citizens. He should be prosecuted.’ pic.twitter.com/mC6LsmituB
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) January 19, 2018
In the video shared by Republic TV editor Aditya Raj Kaul, the US state department’s spokesperson Heather Nauert acknowledged that her department had noticed the reports about no case being registered against Hafeez Saeed.
Nauert claimed that they regard Saeed as a terrorist, who they believe was the mastermind of 26/11 terror attack. She further asserted that the US believes that Saeed should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Some might argue that this aggressive stance against Pakistan and its practice of harbouring terrorists comes after US President Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant against the nation by claiming that, United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years. He also claimed that Pakistan gives safe haven to terrorists which the US hunts for in Afghanistan.
Also as seen in the past year, certain actions by the Trump administration, might provide a faint glimmer of hope that the noose is tightening on the supporters of terror in the Pakistani establishment.
We had reported how, the US had proposed to convert Pakistan’s grant to buy military hardware, into a loan. Later it was also reported that Pakistan was to receive US defence aid only if it managed to show sufficient progress in fighting terrorism.