Hafiz Saeed to walk free, Pak court orders release of 26/11 mastermind

Kristopher Drake
November 23, 2017

Mastermind of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is scheduled to be released from house detention in Pakistan on Thursday, as authorities failed to provide evidence to extend the sentence, reports claimed.

Hafiz Saeed - the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity said by the U.S. to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group - has been under house arrest since January.

The Punjab government had asked for an extension to Saeed's detention but the request was turned down by the court.

Also, LHC review board chaired by Justice Abdul Sami Khan ruled that there is no other case against Saeed for which he should be immediately released from the house arrest. Last month, the Judicial Review Board had allowed a 30-day extension to his house arrest.

Following the decision, admirers of Hafiz Saeed chanted slogans and showered him with rose petals.

Responding to a question, the State Department was quick to express its displeasure over the potential release of Saeed from house arrest.

The decision of the court comes even as Pakistan government had expressed fears that the decision to release Hafiz Saeed could invite sanctions from the worldwide community but the government of Pakistan could not provide any evidence as to why Saeed was kept under house arrest, after which the court chose to free him.

A Punjab Home Department official said it is feared the release could invite worldwide sanctions on the country.

Saeed's attorneys have been telling the court his detention is unlawful and there is no proof of his involvement in terrorist activities.

The government had informed the judicial body that Saeed's release could lead to imposition of global sanctions on Pakistan.

JuD, which has operated freely across Pakistan and is popular for its charity work, is accused by the U.S. and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

It was learned that the United States has $10 million for years to alleged Saeed in the Mumbai attack.

Ten LeT militants killed 166 people and wounded hundreds in Mumbai in November, 2008.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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