LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the release of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been under house arrest since January this year.
According to prosecutor Sattar Sahil, the Punjab government had asked for an extension to Saeed’s detention but the request was turned down by the court.
‘His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow,’ he added.
The JuD chief, through his lawyer AK Dogar Advocate, had challenged his detention orders submitting that the requirements laid by the Supreme Court for the purpose were not fulfilled. He requested the court to set aside the detention and order his release.
Saeed’s counsel disclosed that the review board of the Lahore High Court asked the Punjab government to produce evidence against Hafiz Saeed for keeping him detained but the government failed.
The court orders stirred joy among the members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa who have been raising voice in support of Hafiz Saeed.
‘The leader of Jamaatud Dawa, Hafiz Saeed’s (may God protect him) internment is over,’ Nadeem Awan, a media manager for JuD, wrote on Facebook after the court order.
The provincial authorities had detained Saeed and his four aides under Section 11-EEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1977, on January 31 this year.
In October, the government did not extend the notification for their detention under ATA sections and withdrew application pending before the federal review board for their extension.
The authorities, however, decided to keep Saeed and his aides under house arrest under Section 3 of the MPO (Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance).
Saeed has been accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead. He, however, has repeatedly denied involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.