Lahore High Court bars authorities from arresting Hafiz Saeed

Lahore High Court bars authorities from arresting Hafiz Saeed

Lahore High Court bars authorities from arresting Hafiz SaeedThe direction came following Saeed’s plea that he might be detained on the grounds that the government, under pressure from U.S. and India, would wanted to arrest him.

A Pakistani High Court on Wednesday issued directives to the authorities in Punjab province not to arrest Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed following indications that the government may pass such an order.

Lahore High Court directed the federal and Punjab governments not to put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest until further orders,. The direction came following Saeed’s plea that he might be detained on the grounds that the government, under pressure from U.S. and India, would wanted to arrest him.

The court had directed the governments not to arrest him, and ordered them to submit their replies regarding the petitioner’s allegations. Justice Ameenuddin Khan who heard the case directed the counsel for both federal and povincial governments to file replies in the case by April 4.

Last month a government notification and then a Presidential Ordinance were issued to freeze all of Hafiz Saeed’s assets that were linked JuD and FIF across the country. The assets have been taken over by the Punjab government. However, Jamaat-ud-Dawa was not included in the list of banned organizations’ Schedule 1 that empowers the authorities to register terrorism cases against the organization and arrest its leadership.

A government statement issued last month stated that requisite actions with regard to freezing and taking over of assets (movable, immovable and human resource) associated with JUD and FIF shall be taken in pursuance of ordinance No II of 2018.

The Ministry of Law and Justice also announced that Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain had issued an Ordinance to proscribe entities banned by the United Nations Security Council.

Following the Ordinance, the Punjab government took over the assets of JuD. The provincial government also issued a notification barring collection of donations by JuD and FIF. JuD has a network of over 150 ambulances, six hospitals, sixty schools and is running scores of madrassas across Punjab, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and northern areas.

In January this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan also issued a circular to all companies barring them from donating money to those entities listed in the UNSC sanctioned list.

Hafiz Saeed has been declared as terrorist by the U.S., United Nations and India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

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