New Delhi: In the wake of US announcement of a bounty of USD 10 million on Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) welcomed the US move saying that it sends a strong signal to Lashkar-e-Taiba 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 on Monday.

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-Taiba and Jamaat ul-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.

India hopes Pak can take action against Saeed

India on Tuesday hoped the US announcement of USD10 million bounty for 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed will put pressure on the Pakistan government to take action against the founder of the Laskhar-e-Taiba.

"We hope it will put pressure on the Pakistan government to take action against him," Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters here when asked about the US' decision to target Saeed.

"We continue to compile information against his activities," said Chidambaram, adding that India has given many dossiers to Pakistan pertaining to Saeed's anti-India activities.


(JPN/Agencies)