The government of Pakistan has withdrawn a request to extend the house arrest of banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and four of his associates under the Anti-Terrorism Act, Dawn reported. However, all five will be kept under house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, the report said.
On January 31, Saeed – the alleged mastermind behind the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 – and his four aides were detained by Pakistan’s Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. They have been under house arrest since after multiple extensions.
On Saturday, an official of the Home Department of the Punjab government told a three-member federal judicial review board that the government did not require their detention to be extended.
A senior official of the Punjab government told PTI that as the government had extended their detention till October 24 under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance of 1960, it does not need them under house arrest under the anti-terrorism law.
Saeed heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity, widely viewed as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The United Nations Security Council labelled the Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader a terrorist front in 2008. The United States offers a $10 million bounty for Saeed.