The United States has expressed concern about Jamaat-ud-Dawaah (JuD) Chief Hafiz Saeed running for office in Pakistan in 2018, a senior Trump Administration official has said.
Heather Nauert's, the spokesperson for US State Department, remark comes after the Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, who is wanted by India for his role in masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives, recently announced he would contest the general elections in Pakistan in 2018 under the banner of the Milli Muslim League.
The United Nations- and US-designated terrorist was recently released from house arrest after a Pakistani court cited lack of evidence against him in the case.
"It's a group that the US government considers to be a terror organisation. We have many conversations with the Government of Pakistan. One of the things that happened recently is that this guy was held on house arrest. Pakistan released him from house arrest, and now there is word that he may be running for some sort of office," Nauert said, in a press briefing.
She recapitulated that Saeed had a USD 10-million American bounty on his head for terror activities, adding that reports of him running for office would certainly concern the country.
When quizzed about Pakistan's claim of not having enough evidence against Saeed, Nauert said, "I can tell you his organisation that was responsible for those attacks is considered a foreign terror organisation. It's considered a foreign terror organisation by the US government for a reason, and for a good reason."
"I would imagine that, if we had any intelligence, and that's not an area that I can discuss anyway, but we would certainly share it with the Pakistani's on that front. I hope they'll do the right thing," Nauert concluded.