26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed gets himself 100-strong armed guard

In a development that will definitely not help any India-Pakistan rapprochement, Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) is reported to have created a "special security team" to protect Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who is wanted in India for allegedly masterminding the 26 /11 Mumbai terror attacks.

According to media reports, Saeed's LeT special security agents number at least 100, and they have been equipped with modern arms and ammunition. The specially trained LeT members would provide round-the-clock security to Hafiz Saeed in and outside Lahore.

Hafiz Saeed was clicked on Friday surrounded by a heavy pose of security men at GT Road, Gujranwala in Pakistan, where he had gone to give a 'Khutba' or sermon after Friday prayers.

Saeed – a United Nation-designated global terrorist with a US-sponsored $10-million reward on his head – was recently released after nearly ten months of house arrest following a Pakistan court order.

Saeed has been issuing political comments and statements against the United States and Israel on the issues of Jerusalem and the future of the Palestine State.

The co-founder of LeT and the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa recently reacted strongly to US President Donald Trump's announcement to shift the American Embassy to Jerusalem, terming the decision pro-Zionist and anti-Muslim.

He warned President Trump that his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would evoke a strong reaction from the Muslim world and could possibly lead to a declaration of war across the Middle East.

On 12 December, in Karachi, he stated that member countries of international human rights bodies were active in trampling human rights, and also condemned the silence of these institutions to the "oppression" of Muslims in Palestine and other parts of the world.

He added that the Israelis in Palestine are "committing atrocities" and urged the government of Pakistan not to become the victim of external forces and stand with Palestinians in their "freedom struggle".

The US has recently expressed concerns about Hafiz Saeed running for office in Pakistan in 2018.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head and LeT founder had said this week that JuD would contest the 2018 general elections in Pakistan under the banner of the Milli Muslim League, which is yet to be registered with the Election Commission (See: US unhappy as 26 /11 terrorist Hafiz Saeed vows to contest in Pak polls).

Saeed, who was released by Pakistan from house arrest last November resulting in an angry reaction from the US, was the "mastermind" of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and is leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in Washington.

"It's a group that the US government considers to be a terror organisation. We have many conversations with the government of Pakistan. One of the things that happened recently was that this guy was held on house arrest. Pakistan released him from house arrest, and now there's word that he may be running for some sort of office," she said.

Earlier this week Pakistan's Army chief General Qamer Javed Bajwa had also spoken against Hafiz Saeed's activities in Kashmir.