Pakistan court orders release of Hafiz Saeed

Image Attribute Hafiz Saeed co-founder of Lashkar-e Taiba and the chief or amir of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah  Source The Un Real Times

The Punjab province government had asked for a 60-day extension to Saeed's detention but the request was turned down by the court, prosecutor Sattar Sahil said.

"The review board has now rescinded the detention order", said Mr. Saeed's lawyer, Abdullah Khan Dogar.

Mr. Awan said that the government's lawyers had repeatedly argued in court that Mr. Saeed was a threat to public safety and that his release could lead to global penalties for Pakistan for not moving against terrorism financing.

Saeed is accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008 which left 166 Indians and foreigners dead.

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

His latest stint under house arrest was not the first for Mr. Saeed, though he has repeatedly avoided long-term detention or serious legal charges.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Kazmi said, "Kasab had given his statement in detail that he had conversation with Saeed, which proves Pakistan's involvement in the Mumbai attacks".

Before the board's decision, a federal finance ministry official appeared before it and submitted "some important evidence" against Saeed to justify his detention.

Meanwhile, a source in the Punjab government said that Saeed may not walk out free as the government is mulling to detain him in another case. He was held March 31, 2002, arrested again on May 15, and was placed under house arrest on October 31 of the same year.

Saeed, who is expected to be freed on Thursday, thanked the court judges in a video message released by his Islamist charity.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which India accuses of carrying out terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Mumbai attack on November 26th, 2008. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

"The US reiterates its stance that the LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens", the spokesperson told PTI.

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