Islamabad: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has challenged the order of Pakistan’s Punjab government to extend his detention for 60 more days. The Punjab Home Department issued an order on July 28 under which the detention of Saeed and his four aides -Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain, was extended for another 60 days.
Apparently frustrated with not getting a decision from the Lahore High Court that had on June 7 reserved his petition against his first detention order on January 30, Saeed on Wednesday filed a fresh petition challenging the detention order. The petition says: “There is no evidence whatsoever that the petitioners are planning to spread chaos in the country or that they have planned violent demonstrations. It says the government in the impugned detention order has only shown apprehension against the petitioners”.
The petition says blatant violation of laws have been committed by the government in this case. It pleads that imprisonment without trial and conviction is prima facie unlawful and unconstitutional. “The government detained the petitioners to please India and America. Courts in past have declared detention of JuD leaders illegal as the government failed to prove its charges,” it says and requests the court to set aside the detention order for being issued without lawful authority.
In response to their previous petitions, the government had clarified that the JuD and its allied organisation (Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation) had been kept under observation on the basis of a report sent by the ministry of foreign affairs. “In the light of that report, the government has reasons to believe that JuD and FIF are engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan’s obligation to the UN Security Council resolution,” the government said.
Earlier on June 7, a division bench headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan had reserved the decision on Saeed and his four aides’ petitions against their detention after hearing the arguments from petitioners counsel and the government law officer. On April 30, detention of Saeed and his four aides was extended by the Punjab government for another 90 days under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The Punjab government on January 30 had put them under house arrest in Lahore under the Second Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The Pakistan government had reportedly taken action against Saeed after the US firmly told Islamabad that in case of not taking action against JuD and Saeed it may face sanctions.
JuD is the front for the banned Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT). The organisation is accused of involvement in militant activities in India and has already been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in 2014.