Pakistan Court Frees Anti-US Cleric Amid Spat With Trump

A Pakistani court has ordered the release of a radical anti-US cleric who went to Afghanistan with thousands of volunteers to help the Taliban fight against Americans after the 2001 US-led invasion, Fida Gul, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

The development comes amid rising US-Pakistani tensions following President Donald Trump’s accusations that Pakistan was harboring militants and the withholding of American aid to Islamabad.

Sufi Mohammad was set free on health grounds and the paperwork for his release was still being processed Tuesday, Fida Gul said.

Mohammad, imprisoned since 2009, is also known as the father-in-law of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

Washington accuses Pakistan of turning a blind eye to militants. Pakistan denies the charge. Last week, Trump said that the United States had “foolishly” given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but “lies & deceit.”

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