Lahore: A Pakistani court today served a notice on the Punjab government seeking a reply on the petition filed by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and four others challenging their house arrest under the anti-terrorism act.
A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan held a hearing on Saeed’s petition and sought a reply from the Punjab government by March 7, when the next hearing in the case will be held.
Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid yesterday filed the petition in the Lahore High yesterday and challenged their detention through senior advocate A K Dogar.
The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country’s anti- terrorism act.
In their petition, Saeed and the four others had said the government in light of interior ministry’s order detained them for a period of 90 days, with effect from January 30, in exercise of powers under the Anti Terrorism Act 1997.
They said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had claimed that the government was fulfilling its obligations under United Nations Security Council’s resolutions.
“The government has proved that the Pakistan is a servile and a dependent nation. We have been serving the country like iconic social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi for the last many years,” they had claimed in the petition.
The petitioners said the United States had clearly told Islamabad that in case of not following the advice to take action against JuD, Pakistan may face sanctions.
Previously, the petitioners said the government had used the same UNSC resolution for detaining Saeed and a full bench of the Lahore High Court had set him free.
“The government has no evidence that we are a ‘risk’ to (the) security of Pakistan and merely on the basis of the UNSC resolutions our liberty cannot be curtailed,” the petitioners said.
They requested the court to declare the government order malafide, without jurisdiction and one that voids the fundamental right to their life and liberty.
The names of?Saeed and 37 other JuD and FIF leaders had earlier also been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), barring them from leaving the country.
Earlier, the Lahore High Court had dismissed a petition filed by a senior advocate Erum Sajjad Gull on ‘technical’ grounds observing that the petitioner had not furnished the impugned notification of Saeed’s detention.
Saeed was also put under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.
Saeed also carries a reward of USD 10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities.