Hafiz Saeed's house arrest ends as LHC review board rejects extension

Frederick Owens
November 23, 2017

The alleged mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai - in which the Indian city's Chabad center was one of the targets - was ordered released from house arrest by a Pakistani court on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Saeed is scheduled to be released on Thursday.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity led by Mr Saeed which the United Nations considers a front for terrorism, told the Telegraph it was a triumph for their cause.

The religious leader is likely to be released later this week, said his counsel.

Saeed has been under house arrest since January 31 and will walk free only 48 hours ahead of 26/11 Anniversary.

During the last hearing, the government while seeking extension in the detention orders had argued that Saeed could not be released because the move would result in financial sanctions and a halt in foreign funding to the country.

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In previous proceedings, the Punjab Home Department has argued that that if he was released, his activities would pose a serious threat to public safety and public order.

"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", Dogar said. A large number of JuD workers also gathered on the court s premises.

Welcoming the board's decision, JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said, "The friends of India are disappointed today".

Speaking to PTI, an official source said, "The government can not afford to set Saeed free in the current circumstance. It can not face worldwide backlash in the event of releasing the JuD chief", the official source told media.

According to the law, the government can detain an individual for up to three months under different charges but an extension in the detention requires approval from a judicial review board.

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

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