The US House Foreign Affairs Committee today refuted US President Donald Trumps claim on the 26/11 terror attack mastermind and terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed’s arrest in Pakistan on July 17, 2019.
Pakistan had yesterday announced that the US-designated terrorist and 26/11 terror attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed has been arrested by the Punjab CTD in Lahore, Pakistan.
The US President soon took to Twitter to hail the arrest. He claimed that the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks was arrested after a 10-year search and hinted that it was the USA’s ‘great pressure’ that has made it possible for Pakistan to ‘find’ him.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019
The legislative committee in a counter Tweet slammed Trump by highlighting that Pakistan was not searching for the US proscribed terrorist for the last 10 years as claimed by the President and specified that Hafiz has been living freely in the country and was arrested multiple times and released again.
In fact, in its Tweet, the Committee pointed out as to how many times in past Pakistan has resorted to a similar sham of arresting the terrorist due to International pressure but re-releasing him every time thereafter.
The US Committee asked its President to hold his ‘applause’ until Saeed was actually convicted by Pakistan.
FYI Pakistan wasn’t searching for him for 10 years. He’s been living freely, and was arrested and released in:
August 2006 (twice)
Let’s hold the 👏 until he’s convicted. https://t.co/qMtD7wgSp9
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) July 17, 2019
Hafiz Saeed was arrested on Wednesday in Lahore by the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department in Lahore while he was on his way to an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala to seek bail.
It is notable here that Hafiz Saeed’s party Milli Muslim League had even contested the elections in Pakistan last year. The Islamabad High Court had overruled the election commission’s decision to disallow the terrorist’s party from contesting elections.
Saeed has been living as a public figure in Pakistan. He has been running madrassas, holding meetings and giving sermons for the whole world to see, but exactly what made the US president think that Hafiz Saeed needed any searching and finding is still unclear.
In fact, just three days back, a Lahore anti-terrorism court had granted him anticipatory bail on a Rs 50,000 bail bond.
It would be pertinent to note here that last year Pakistan had put in all possible efforts to ensure that Hafiz Saeed’s Jamat-ul-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) are no longer in the list of banned outfits in Pakistan.
In fact, Pakistan has always given refuge to terrorists like Osama bin Laden who was killed by the American forces in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in operation Neptune Spear. The mastermind of the Mumbai serial bomb blasts in 1993, Dawood Ibrahim, is also reported to be staying in Pakistan.
Now, whether Saeed’s arrest is an eyewash or an attempt to save it’s Prime Minister’ face or whether it was the FATF pressure of being blacklisted, only time will tell, but the US President has certainly got a reality check by his own people.