Washington, Jan 19: The United States has called for Hafiz Saeed’s prosecution “to the fullest extent of the law”, following Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s remark that no action could be taken against the UN-designated terrorist.
Abbasi, during an interview to Geo TV, referred to Saeed as ‘sahib’ or ‘sir’.
“There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case can there be action,” Abbasi said when asked why there was no action against Saeed.
Reacting strongly to the comments, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US believed that Saeed should be prosecuted and they had told Pakistan as much.
“We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a designated foreign terror organisation,” Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference on Thursday.
“We have made our points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted,” Nauert said.
Responding to a question, Nauert said the US had “certainly seen” the reports about Abbasi’s comment on Saeed.
“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,” she said.
Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November.
The US has labelled JuD the “terrorist front” for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a group Saeed founded in 1987. LeT was responsible for carrying the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
Acknowledging that the US has had some challenging times with the government of Pakistan recently, Nauert said the Trump Administration expected Pakistan to do a lot more to address terrorism issues.
“That’s something that we’ve been very clear about all along. You know the news that we had that came out a couple of weeks ago about our decision to withhold some of the security funding for Pakistan,” she said.
Nauert said the entire administration is on the same page on the issue of US-Pakistan relationship.
Early this month, the US suspended about USD 2 billion worth of security assistance to Pakistan accusing it of not doing enough in the fight against terrorism.
In retaliation, Pakistan suspended military and intelligence cooperation with the US.
The State Department on Thursday said it had not received any formal information in this regard from Pakistan.
JK Govt yet to get intimation on ECI teams visit
Srinagar, Jan 23: Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to get a formal intimation from the Election Commission of India of a proposed visit of a commission’s team for on spot assessment of the situation for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
Official sources privy to developments on the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state told that neither the government nor the office of Chief Electoral officer has got a formal intimation from the election commission of India on the visit of a team of the commission expected to make an on spot assessment of the situation before the commission takes a call on the simultaneous conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state or the holding of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections separately.
A top government official on conditions of anonymity told, “We are yet to get both the government and the office of the chief electoral officer is yet to get any intimation on the proposed visit of a team of the election commission of India for on spot assessment of the situation before a final decision on simultaneous or separate conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
However may be we get a call from the election commission of India on the proposed visit of its team even on January 27 as speculated in some media reports.”
Earlier, there were reports that a team of the Election Commission will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation with political leaders and other stakeholders on polls in the state.
“A team of Election Commission will visit the state soon to have a review of situation with political leaders and other stakeholders for holding the elections,” state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had said.
On the issue of holding of simultaneous polls, the CEO informed that his office had already taken necessary steps for holding the elections, but decision lies with the Election Commission, who would take a final call at an appropriate time after taking all aspects into consideration.
Injured Habba Kadal youth responding to treatment
Srinagar, Jan 23: The youth from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal area, who was critically injured after CRPF personnel allegedly hurled a stone at him on Tuesday, is responding to the treatment, doctors at SK Institute of Medical Sciences told The Kashmir Monitor.
Mohammad Younis, who, as per his family, had gone to fetch vegetables, suffered a skull fracture after a stone hit him during clashes in Habba Kadal.
Initially, he was taken to SMHS hospital but the doctors referred him to SKIMS as he was stated to be critical.
Medical Superintendent (MS), SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that Younis is being treated in the surgical observation unit of the hospital.
“Patient is okay. As of now, there is no need to worry. We are closely monitoring him,” he said.
The CRPF spokesman had claimed the youth “slipped and fell down while being chased”.
Weatherman predicts week-long dry spell in Valley
Srinagar, Jan 23: After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather on Wednesday showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department told that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan has issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division on Wednesday.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh of J&K state.
As per a hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DCs to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.