New Delhi: In a major boost to New Delhi’s fight against terrorism, the US administration of President Barack Obama has announced a reward of $10 million for the capture or information leading to the arrest of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
Pakistan-based Hafiz Saeed is the founder of one of the deadliest terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
Reports, Tuesday, claimed that the announcement by the Obama administration was formally conveyed to New Delhi by visiting US Under-Secretary of Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman yesterday.
In her maiden trip to India, Sherman further informed top Indian officials that apart from Saeed, his brother-in-law and co-founder of Lashkar Abdul Rehman Makki also carries a bounty of $3 million on his head.
Both LeT and JuD have been blacklisted by the US authorities for their deep-neck involvement in terrorism.
The JuD chief is on India`s most-wanted list since the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed by Pakistan-trained terrorists.
Saeed is believed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks and Indian investigators have provided concrete evidence of his involvement in the 26/11 incident to Pakistan.
However, despite pressure from New Delhi and the international community on Pakistan to act against the terror operators, Saeed and his close associates continue to roam freely in the neighbouring country.
Defending itself, the establishment in Pakistan has been assuring India that action can be taken against Saeed only if New Delhi provides "actionable" and "substantive" evidence against him.
The JuD chief is often seen holding public meetings in Islamabad in the presence for several Pakistani ministers.
Shortly after the 26/11 attacks, Saeed was placed under house arrest in late 2009 in view of increased pressure from the Indian government. However, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Saeed and set him free.
In what was a setback for India, the court also declared that JuD was not a banned outfit and could work freely in Pakistan.
Significantly, Saeed now carries the same reward on his head as Taliban founder Mullah Omar - who the US holds responsible for 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile, India has welcomed the US’ announcement of bounty on Hafiz Saeed`s head, saying the move sends a strong signal to LeT as also its members and patrons.