Protests called over US bounty on Hafiz Saeed

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Right-wing, religious and extremist groups on Wednesday called for nationwide protests to denounce a US bounty on the man who founded the group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. “On Friday there would be countrywide protest,” said Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of the Defence Council of Pakistan and dubbed father of the Taliban. The United States on Monday slapped a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the banned extremist organisation accused of masterminding the carnage that killed 166 people in Mumbai four years ago. Saeed, who lives openly in Pakistan, joined Haq on stage at a press conference in a hotel opposite the headquarters of the Pakistan military in Rawalpindi, goading the Americans to haul him before the courts. “If the United States wants to contact me, I am present, they can contact me.
I am also ready to face any American court, or wherever there is proof against me,” Saeed told reporters. Saeed and the Defence Council of Pakistan has spent recent months whipping up demonstrations across the country calling on the government not to reopen NATO supply lines to Afghanistan, which have been closed since November.

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