Islamabad: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and his four aides have been detained for “spreading terrorism in the name of jihad”, Pakistan’s interior ministry has reportedly told a judicial review board.
PTI reported that Saeed appeared before the board on Saturday and told it that he had been detained by the Pakistani government in order to stop him from “raising voice for Kashmiris”.
However, the interior ministry rejected his arguments and told the three-member board that Saeed and his four aides have been detained for “spreading terrorism in the name of jihad”.
The board directed the ministry to submit a complete record regarding the detention of Saeed and his aides — Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid, Abdullah Ubaid and Qazi Kashif Niaz — on next hearing on Monday.
The board also sought the personal appearance of the attorney general of Pakistan in the next hearing.
Police produced Saeed and his four aides before the board at Lahore registry of the apex court amid high security. A large number of Saeed’s supporters gathered outside the court, PTI reported.
Saeed’s counsel advocate A K Dogar was also present but the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chose to plead his case before the court.
Saeed appealed to the board to set aside the Punjab government’s detention order.
“The government detained the JuD leaders on pressure from United Nations and international organisations,” an official representing the federal interior ministry told the board.
On April 30, detention of Saeed and his four aides was extended by the Punjab government for another 90 days under preventative detention under 11 EEE (I) and 11D of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997.
The Punjab government on January 30 had put these five under house arrest in Lahore for their involvement in activities which can be prejudicial to peace and security.
The government has also placed JuD and FIF under second schedule of the anti-terrorism act.
The Nawaz government had reportedly acted against Saeed after the US clearly told Islamabad that in case of not taking action against JuD and Saeed it may face sanctions.
JuD is said to be the front for the banned Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT). The organisation has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.