LHC orders release of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed

Posted November 23, 2017

The Lahore High Court today ordered the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been under house arrest since January this year.

The provincial government had asked for another 60-day extension to the cleric's detention, but, during Wednesday's court proceedings, judges turned down the request and ordered that Saeed be freed from his house arrest.

"His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow", Sahil was quoted as saying.

JuD, which has operated freely across Pakistan and is popular for its charity work, is accused by the United States and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

The board's order paves the way for Saeed's release.

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South Korea's Lee also added that it could have "a very significant meaning considering the current situation". He was rushed to a hospital in South Korea and had undergone emergency surgery.

"The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case", the board said.

Saeed's attorneys have been telling the court his detention is unlawful and there is no proof of his involvement in terrorist activities.

Saeed had been under house arrest largely because of pressure from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force that tracks terror financing. On January 31, Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain. On Friday, Mr Saeed is expected to walk free. "It's because of Kashmir that India is after me, but all her efforts have been in vain and Allah has set me free", he said. But, 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.

A Punjab Home Department official said it is feared the release could invite worldwide sanctions on the country.

Ten LeT militants killed 166 people and wounded dozens in Mumbai in November, 2008.