Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed's house arrest continues, government writes to EC against his party

Hafiz Saeed house arrest extended by a month. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan Sep 27, 2017, 12.18 PM (IST)

Pakistan authorities have extended the house arrest of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed for one more month. The officials in the country's Punjab province said Saeed's activities threatened to cause disruptions in the country. Yesterday, Pakistan's interior ministry had opposed the registration of the Milli Muslim League (MML), the political arm of banned terror outfit, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, as a political party. 

The moves apparently come after the United States of America sent a protest note to the Pakistan government about MML and its ideological background, The Hindu reported.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief has been under house arrest since January 31. JuD is a banned terror organisation, while its chief Saeed is a United Nation and US-designated global terrorist for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. 

On Tuesday, the home department of Pakistan's Punjab province issued an order extending the house arrest of Saeed for another month with effect from September 25. The order also extends the house arrests of his four aides, Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain.Saeed and his four aides have been under house arrest since January 31, with the Pakistan authorities extending it every month. The previous order to extend his house arrest was issued on July 28.

"...Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat have planned to spread chaos in the country on their expected release. They have planned to make demonstrations under the leadership of Saeed. He will be portrayed as a hero and his acts will be glorified," Pakistan's home department that is incharge of internal security said in its latest notification.

The Jamaat central leader, Abdul Rehman Makki, was making preparations for Saeed's release, the home department notification also said.

The notification further read, "Transport is being arranged, arms are also being collected for a show of force and for use, if need be, against the personnel of law enforcement agencies. Funds are also being used collected for the purpose. The liberty of Saeed is a continuous threat to the peace and tranquillity. Further recommendation for his detention is in the interest of peace and order."

Lahore's district intelligence committee had also raised its concerns about Saeed's release: "There is apprehension that Saeed shall create law and order situation upon release."

Additional Home Secretary Mar R Azam Suleman said that the activities of Saeed were "prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of public order".

Meanwhile, Saeed, today filed a fresh application in the Lahore High Court against the latest order extending his detention for another 30 days.

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi turned down a request by the home department for holding in-camera proceedings of the petition as the matter was sensitive. The judge adjourned hearing till October 2.

JuD leaders' counsel Advocate A K Dogar had contended the government detained the petitioners on the basis of mere apprehension.

He said imprisonment without trial and conviction was prima facie unlawful and unconstitutional.

An official of the Home Department presented the latest detention order of the petitioner before the court. He told the court that activities of JuD leaders if released, would pose a serious threat to the public safety and cause a breach of public order.

He said a number of cases had been registered against Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a sister organisation of the JuD, while the detainees also launched a campaign of their political party, which was still not registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

He said all the law enforcement agencies strongly recommended that the detention of the JuD leader should be extended in the larger public interest.

JuD is believed to be the front for the banned Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack. 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.

The US has offered a USD 10 million bounties for Saeed for his alleged role in the Mumbai attacks.