Saeed is wanted for deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai
The United States has announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, a Pakistani militant leader accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, who in recent months has emerged at the vanguard of a prominent anti-US political-lobbying interest.
Wendy Sherman, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, announced the reward while in India on Monday for help finding Saeed, described as the leader of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. She also announced $2 million for information leading to the capture of Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, Saeed’s brother-in-law.
The reward was welcomed by Sherman’s Indian hosts, who have long pressed Pakistan to imprison or extradite Saeed. A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said it was a strong signal to Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose attacks are often directed at Indians, and evidence of growing security cooperation between the United States and India. The Mumbai attacks killed at least 163 people, including six Americans.
But the gesture toward India is likely to further strain relations with Pakistan, currently being renegotiated following a border clash in November in which US warplanes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. And it met with a contemptuous reception among Saeed’s supporters, one of whom described the reward as an “April Fools’ joke’’ and ridiculed the notion that Saeed was a hunted man.