Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of Mumbai terror attack. He runs Lahore-based JuD and claims that his group is involved in humanitarian activities.
In an act that comes across as another bid by a section of Pakistan’s judiciary to appease Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed as part of Pakistan’s larger agenda to mainstream terrorists, the Lahore High Court has directed the Pakistan government not to ‘harass’ Saeed and allow his group to continue ‘social welfare activities’. This, after another High Court verdict ordering the Election Commission to recognise his Milli Muslim League (MML) as a political party a few months ago.
The court’s observation came during a plea by Hafiz Saeed alleging that the government was interfering in the welfare projects of his group because it has bowed down to the pressure of US and India. He argued that banning an organisation from doing charity work is against the Constitution of Pakistan.
After hearing Saeed’s lawyer AK Dogar’s arguments, the court also issued a notice to the federal and provincial governments. The court asked them to file their reply on or before April 23 when it will take the matter for further hearing. To Dogar’s request that the matter be heard by a full bench, Justice Ameenud Din Khan said that he will consider his plea in the next hearing.
Earlier in January, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan had barred JuD and several other groups banned by the UNSC from collecting donations in the country in the name of charity. Next month, the government amended the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 quietly and issued the amended Anti-Terrorism Ordinance, 2018 banning groups like JuD from performing social works. Pakistan had taken this move just a few days ahead of a crucial meet of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris.
Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of Mumbai terror attack. He runs Lahore-based JuD and claims that his group is involved in humanitarian activities. However, the US has recognised the JuD as a global terror organisation. Saeed even carries a bounty of USD 10,000 announced by America.
Recently, the Islamabad HC had set aside the Election Commission order of not recognising JuD’s MML as a political party.