Arrest, book Saeed for sins: USA to Pak

Hafiz Saeed reacts to supporters as he walks out of court after a Pakistani court ordered his release from house arrest in Lahore Pakistan

Pakistan frees Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

Saeed was placed under house arrest in January while Sharif was still prime minister, a move that drew praise from India, long furious at Saeed's continued freedom in Pakistan. Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement but had previously been detained twice briefly following the attacks. "The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes". "Since 2012, the United States has offered a USA $10 million‎ reward for information that brings Saeed to justice", it said.

While some in Pakistan may wish to see Mr Saeed placed on trial, there is widespread suspicion among Indian and USA officials that he still retains close links to the country's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been long blamed for sponsoring numerous cross-border attacks on Indian targets.

His release came after a panel of judges dismissed a government request to continue his house arrest, which ended Thursday.

Saeed ran the Jamaat-Ud-Dawa organization (Party of the Faith), which is thought to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant group. This was following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which claimed 166 lives, including six American nationals.

Meanwhile, India has termed the release "an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists".

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Often a guest on conservative television talks shows, the popular jihadist still attracts large crowds with his anti-American and anti-Indian diatribes in rallies and protests.

He further said, "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting ... that must change immediately".

These include elements of the deadly Haqqani network in Afghanistan, the leadership of the Afghan Taliban, as well as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.

US official expressed hope that relations between the two countries could improve after a kidnapped U.S.

Last month, however, the Trump administration appeared to revise its hard line against Islamabad. "Recent statements of Saeed are simply a re-articulation of the agenda of terrorist constituency which thrives across the border", the official said.

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Saeed attacked government of Pakistan for "taking dictation from foreign masters" and spoke about "Indian atrocities" in Kashmir.

Non-NATO ally status is a designation given by the U.S. government to close allies who have a strategic working relationship with U.S. Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Before becoming president, Trump criticized Pakistan and said in a tweet: "Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend".

For years, the Pakistanis have been blamed by the us for not doing enough in their counterterrorism efforts to end the Afghan war - the longest military engagement in America's history.

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