The Lahore High Court on Thursday asked federal and provincial governments in Pakistan to stop “harassing” Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and allow him to carry out his social welfare work until April 23. In his petition, Saeed alleged that the Pakistani government was interfering in his party’s welfare work because of pressure from India and the United States, Dawn reported.
The JuD chief had filed a similar petition in March, after which the Lahore High Court had asked the federal government to explain why it had banned the outfit and its charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and frozen bank accounts associated with the two. Because of the similar nature of the two pleas, Justice Ameenud Din Khan on Thursday decided to club the two cases and ordered the authorities to submit their responses to Saeed’s petition by April 23.
Saeed, who is a United Nations-designated terrorist, argued in his latest petition that barring an organisation from carrying out charitable work violated the provisions of the Constitution.
India and the US believe that Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which they blame for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. In November 2017, Saeed was freed after 297 days under house arrest on the Lahore High Court’s order. The US and India had reacted sharply to the court order.
In February, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry had issued a notification to freeze the bank accounts of and take over assets associated with both of Saeed’s organisations under the Anti-Terrorism (amendment) Ordinance of 2018. Alleging that Pakistan had acted on pressure from India and the US, Saeed had asked the court to declare the notification null and void when the court was hearing his previous petition.