But now, the State Development Spokesperson Heather Nauert has told the media that the United States believes Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist and he should be persecuted.
Saeed was released from house arrest after a Pakistani court cited lack of evidence against him in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.
She noted, "We have made our points and our concerns to the Pakistani Government very clear".
Commenting on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's statement that Saeed was freed because there were no charges against him and that he could be charged internationally if there was substance to the accusations against him, Nauert said, "So we've certainly seen the reports about this, that the Pakistani government has said that no case has been registered against this individual, Hafiz Saeed Sahib".
To make it very clear what Washington's view is, Nauert further said the USA regards Saeed a terrorist and part of a foreign terror group.
"He (Saeed) is listed by the UN Security Council 1267, the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e Toiba, which is a designated foreign terror organization". LeT was responsible for carrying the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
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Another official said: "We have told them clearly that the law does not allow keeping him behind bars for no reason and no charge".
When asked whether Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells visited Pakistan to deliver any kind of new message to the Pakistani authorities, she said, "I'm not aware of any new message that she's delivering; probably the same messages we have for some time". The Donald Trump administration wants Pakistan to make more efforts to address issues related to terrorism, she said.
Last week Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford said he was committed to the US-Pakistan relationship, which had been strained since early January when Washington suspended US security assistance to Islamabad over its alleged links to the Haqqani network.
It said Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and several of its front organisations, leaders, and operatives remain under both State Department and Treasury Department sanctions. "If India or the USA have any evidence they must share it with Pakistan ".
Saeed has been grabbing headlines often since his release from house arrest in November.
The calendar has become a talking point as it carries a photograph of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed.