The Lahore High Court on Wednesday asked the federal and Punjab province governments in Pakistan not to place alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed under house arrest until further orders, Dawn reported. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief had moved the court in January, claiming that the government wanted to arrest him after India and the United States demanded that they do so.
In January, the court had asked the federal and Punjab governments to reply to Saeed’s claims. However, the governments failed to make their submissions, and on Wednesday requested the court for more time to do so. Judge Ameenuddin Khan expressed dismay over the governments’ requests and asked their counsels to file the replies by April 4.
In February, Saeed had dared the Pakistan government to arrest him. “If the Pakistani government wants to arrest me, come and go for it, but I will not stop dedicating 2018 for Kashmiris,” Saeed had said at a rally in Lahore.
Saeed also accused India of seeking help from Israelis to “suppress the [Kashmiri] freedom struggle”, and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “failed” in the state.
Subsequently, Pakistan began a crackdown on health facilities and seminaries run by Saeed. The crackdown appears to be part of Pakistan’s actions against groups and organisations banned by the United Nations, after a high-level sanctions team visited the country in January.