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US rejects Hafiz Saeed's offer of storm aid


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Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. —Reuters Photo

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday rejected an offer of help for Americans hit by superstorm Sandy from the founder of a Pakistan-based group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit who has a $10 million US reward on his head, said his charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) was ready to help to those affected by the storm.

Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner recalled that Saeed is wanted for the 2008 attacks which killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The LeT has also been designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the State Department.

“We have great respect obviously for the Islamic tradition of social assistance to those who are in need, no matter where they might be,” Toner told journalists. But “this particular offer strikes us as very hollow.”

Sandy hammered the eastern United States early on Tuesday, flooding much of New York City, causing a trail of damage across several states and leaving more than 50 people dead.

Saeed, who is now head of JuD, said in a statement his organisation was ready to offer every possible help “volunteers, doctors, food, medicines and other relief items on humanitarian grounds if the US government allows us.” America may have any opinion about us, it may fix bounties on our heads but as followers of the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), we feel it is our Islamic duty to help Americans trapped in a catastrophe.”

JuD is seen as a front for LeT, and in April the United States offered $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Saeed, who lives in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.

Saeed's charity has long denied terror accusations and is known in Pakistan for its relief work after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 floods.

He was put under house arrest a month after the Mumbai attacks, but was later released after Pakistani courts ruled there was insufficient proof to hold him.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Comments (12) Closed

hassan Nov 01, 2012 05:36am
Americans should give him a chance . may be he isn't a terrorist .
alrazi Nov 01, 2012 06:45am
Ha ha ha... america and hafiz saeed are made for each other.
pathanoo Nov 01, 2012 05:20am
Did Hafiz Saeed, really think that America needs his help?
steve Nov 01, 2012 06:28am
What a joke? Are there not many muslims needing his help?
Kanwaljeet Nov 01, 2012 03:21am
what should we call it? Mother of all irony or joke of the century.
shah Nov 01, 2012 11:13am
Is he really terrorist? If he is, so why Lahore court frees him from case, what is reality? Is Qasab from Pakistan? If he is, so why Pakistani govt did not take action against the guilty organization Let and Jamat dawa and why ajaml qasab is still not hanged. I think this is dirty political game from the both sides.
Pradeep Nov 01, 2012 06:59am
Pure publicity stunt as Hafeez knows that US will not accept an offer from him and it
SalimShafi Nov 02, 2012 07:10am
This is the best way to promote islam all over the world. As everybody thinks in this world that muslims are just terrorists so this is the best chance to show the world that we are not terrorists and we respect all human beings. This is a wise move by Hafiz Saeed.
Afzak Nov 01, 2012 02:55am
Why don't they offer help as one human being to another human being without dragging religion into it.........why Islam has to be a centrestage for everything..........US did not help Pakistan or provides aid at the time of natural disaster in the name of Christianity.......?
Saeed Nov 01, 2012 03:06am
Is this headlines news ? And why
Vishnu Sharma Nov 02, 2012 01:49pm
But an individual ca not have two faces. And of course it is not about Islam.
gunnudidi Nov 01, 2012 05:28am
since the Americans rejected his offer,why not he carry the same mission of volunteers,doctors,medicines,food and other relief items to the people in somalia and other African countries where people mostly Muslims are starving with no food or drinking water.