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  • 22 Apr, 2024

Saeed has been accused by India and the United States of being involved in a 2008 terror attack that killed 166 people.

India has formally asked Pakistan to extradite 2008 Mumbai attack suspect Hafiz Saeed to face trial in India, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.

"We have sent an application to the Pakistani government along with relevant supporting documents," Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told a briefing on Friday. Bagchi said the latest message was sent to Pakistan "a few weeks ago", local media reported.

Saeed, currently held in Pakistan, is the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group. He has been indicted by India and the United States for his involvement in the attack on an Indian financial center that killed 166 people.

India has long asked its neighbor to extradite Saeed to face trial in the case. Saeed was not involved in the 2008 attack in which 10 Pakistani gunmen entered Mumbai in a boat. Gunmen have been attacking landmarks in the city for days. Pakistani authorities placed him under house arrest for several periods and accused him of involvement in militant groups. On 9 April 2002, Saeed was sentenced to 31 years in prison by a Pakistani court for his involvement in the financing of terrorism. Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa group was also banned by the Pakistani government. The organization, accused of financing armed groups, was designated a "terrorist group" by the United States in 2001. The United States offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction.

India hanged Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the sole survivor of the 2008 attacks, in 2012. Kashmir connection

LeT has been accused of using Pakistani territory to attack Indian security and government facilities in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Both Pakistan and India claim the entire mountainous region of Kashmir, but control parts of it. They fought two of the three large-scale wars in the region. India has also accused Pakistan of supporting militant groups such as LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammad operating in Indian-administered Kashmir. Pakistan denies the claims and says it has taken action against all militants operating on its soil. Islamabad supports Kashmiris' right to self-determination against Indian rule. Last week, India's Supreme Court upheld the government's 2019 decision to strip the Muslim-majority region of its limited autonomy and place it under direct rule from New Delhi. Tens of thousands of Indian troops are stationed in the region to quell an armed insurgency that began in the late 1980s. India has been accused of violating human rights and violating the democratic rights of Kashmiris, but New Delhi has said the crackdown is aimed at preventing so-called "terrorism".

Last week, Indian troops were accused of killing three Kashmiri prisoners. The government has opened an investigation into the death.