India welcomes US bounty on Saeed's head

New Delhi: India on Tuesday welcomed the US announcement of a bounty of USD 10 million on Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, saying it sends a strong signal to Lashker-e- Toiba and its patrons.

"India welcomes US notification under the Rewards for Justice Programme. (It) sends a strong signal to LeT as also its members and patrons that the international community remains united in combating terrorism," MEA official spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Twitter.

Under the Rewards for Justice Programme, the US has announced a bounty of USD 10 million on the head of Saeed.

He said the announcement of the bounty reflects commitment of India and the US to bring perpetrators of Mumbai terrorist attack to justice and continuing efforts to combat terrorism.

Akbaruddin was referring to US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman's statement on the bounty issue yesterday.

Saeed, the founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba, is on India's most wanted list. After the 26/11 attacks that left 166 people dead, India has asked Pakistan to hand him over.

Later, in a statement Akbaruddin said the US maintains both Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa as foreign terrorist organisations and has also individually designated Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Abdul Rahman Makki for terrorist activities under its law.

"In recent years, India and the United States have deepened mutual understanding on the nature of terrorism challenges emanating from India's neighbourhood," he said.

The two sides agree that all terrorist organisations, including LeT, should be defeated and have called for elimination of terrorist safe havens and infrastructure inside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He also said India and the US have strengthened their counter-terrorism cooperation through the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism, Counter-terrorism Cooperation Initiative, the Homeland Security Dialogue and regular exchanges between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.