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Islamabad (AFP) Oct 14, 2013
The founder of a militant Islamist group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks Monday accused the US and India of trying to hamper efforts to help victims of Pakistan's earthquake.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who has a $10 million US government bounty on his head, said joint US-Indian efforts to block funds for his Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation were aimed at stopping its relief work in Baluchistan, hit by a powerful quake last month.
JuD is seen as a front for Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), which Saeed founded and which investigators blame for the three-day carnage in Mumbai that killed 166 people.
The United States and India agreed on Sunday to step up cooperation to prevent the financing of extremist movements linked to Pakistan, including JuD and LeT.
But JuD denies terror accusations, and in Pakistan is known for its relief work after natural disasters, particularly the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and 2010 floods.
"Their aim is to hamper the relief work of our charity Falah-e-Insaniyat foundation in the earthquake hit Baluchistan, that's why they are trying to stop our funding," Saeed told reporters.
The 7.7-magnitude quake shook the southwestern province of Baluchistan on September 24, killing more than 370 people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless.
Both LeT and JuD are listed as terror organisations by the United Nations, but JuD operates freely in Pakistan and, despite the bounty on his head, Saeed lives openly.
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