LAHORE – The Lahore High Court has barred the government from taking any illegal action against Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on his plea against possible arrest when a team of the UN will visit Pakistan this week.

A bench of the high court on Wednesday took up the petition filed by Saeed’s counsel Advocate A.K. Dogar.

The petitioner argued that the government aimed at arresting his client during the visit of the delegation, arriving Pakistan on Jan 26 (Friday). He added that the government by taking action against Hafiz Saeed wanted to please the US and India.

After hearing the arguments, Justice Aminuddin Khan issued the stay order at the first hearing and summoned replies from Interior Ministry and Punjab Home Department until March 7.

Saeed was added to the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1267 sanctions list in December 2008 after he was accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead.

UN Delegation

A delegation of UN Security Council delegation will reach Pakistan this week reportedly to assess the measures taken by the government against organizations, which are added in terror watch list. During the visits, the team will call on civil and military officials.

Member states are required to ensure that financial assets of terror groups are frozen and that they are barred from carrying out any terror activities.

US Pressure

On Jan 16, the US reiterated its call to Pakistan for prosecuting Jamat-ud-Dawaa chief Hafiz Saeed, accused by India of plotting 2008 Mumbai attack, “to the fullest extent of the law”.

US Departmet of State spokesperson Heather Nauert stated this while talking to reporters, days after President Donald Trump’s administration announced to withhold military aid of 1.1 billion US dollars. The aid was halted after Trump accused Pakistan of making the US fool.

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Nauert said, “We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a designated foreign terror organisation”.

“We have made our points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted,” Nauert asserted.

Pakistan’s Stance 

Prime Minister Abbasi talking to an international news agency said the sanctioned charities will be taken over by the government and will not be allowed to operate. He added that the government will also take action against charities, which have links with Saeed.

Crackdown on Hafiz Saeed’s charities starts: Khurram Dastgir says action against JuD, FIF not taken under US pressure

Talking to Geo New here the other day, PM said that Pakistan had not convicted Saeed of any charges because there was no evidence.

“There is no case against Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. If there was a case, action would be taken. This is an issue that comes to the fore repeatedly, but there is no truth in it,” Abbasi told.

Saeed’s House Arrest

In November 2017, Pakistani authorities released Saeed from house arrest. He had been detained under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977 on January 31. Earlier, he was put under house arrest in 2008 and 2009.