Dismissing Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's latest remarks on Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the United States made it clear that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The Pakistan Prime Minister, in a recent interview to Geo TV, said that there was no case registered against Saeed in Islamabad and without it, action cannot be initiated against him.
At a press briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert on Thursday said, "So we've certainly seen the reports about this, that the Pakistani Government has said that no case has been registered against this individual, Hafiz Saeed."
She added, "Many of you may recall we talked about this a couple of weeks ago, about who this individual is. We regard him as a terrorist, a part of a foreign terrorist organisation. He was the mastermind, we believe, of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many people, including Americans as well."
Nauert stated that Washington has conveyed its concern to Islamabad as the U.S. believes Saeed should be prosecuted.
"The Pakistani Government released him from house arrest not that long ago. We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," she said.
She further emphasised that Saeed is listed by the United Nations Security Council 1267, the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targetted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is a designated foreign terrorist organisation.
"So I just want to remind people of that, of who this individual is, and make it clear that we have addressed our concerns with the Pakistani Government," she said.
In November 2017, the Pakistan Prime Minister had claimed that India has provided "no evidence" against Saeed on the basis of which he can be prosecuted.
"The court, a three-judge bench, has released him (Saeed) saying there are no charges against him, the country has a law you know," said Abbasi.
Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, is also looking forward to contesting the 2018 general elections in Pakistan and has, thereby, formed a party by the name of Milli Muslim League (MML).
Pakistan has recently prohibited JuD and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) from collecting donations.
Saeed was released from house arrest after a Pakistani court cited lack of evidence against him in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.
India has, time and again, protested against Pakistan for harbouring Saeed, who is wanted for plotting the 2008 attack.