LAHORE: A Pakistani court has directed the Punjab government and the JuD counsel to present their final arguments on March 27 on a petition challenging the detention of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and four others under the anti-terrorism law.
Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief, along with Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid has filed the petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) through senior advocate A K Dogar.
Hearing their petition yesterday, LHC Justice Syed Kazim Raza Shamsi observed that Section 11-EEE(1) of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 required the government to furnish reasons for the detention of a citizen. During the hearing, advocate Dogar said the government detained JuD chief Saeed and four aides on the pressure from the US and India.
"India has always tried to cause harm to Saeed," he alleged. He argued that a UN resolution was used in the past to detain the JuD chief and the court had set the detention aside in 2009. "The government has failed to produce any evidence against Saeed or his organisation. There are ulterior motives and mala fide intention behind the impugned act of the government."
Dogar said the government had no evidence that the petitioners were a risk to security of Pakistan and merely on the basis of UN resolutions their liberty could not be curtailed. The court adjourned the case till March 27 directing the petitioners' counsel and a provincial law officer to come up with final arguments. The government on January 30 had put Saeed and four leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country’s anti- terrorism act.
Besides Saeed, the names of 37 other JuD and FIF leaders had earlier also been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), barring them from leaving the country. Saeed was also put under house arrest after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, but he was freed by court in 2009. Saeed has a bounty of USD 10 million on his head for his role in terror activities.