Pakistan Court Orders Release of Cleric Wanted by USA for Terrorism

Marie Harrington
November 23, 2017

The board headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan said in a statement, "The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case".

The Punjab government had sought a three-month extension in Saeed's detention but the request was turned down by the judicial review board.

During the last hearing, the government while seeking extension in the detention orders had argued that Saeed could not be released because the move would result in financial sanctions and a halt in foreign funding to the country.

It should be recalled that Saeed was put on house arrest on January 30, this year. Authorities arguing against the release of Saeed are of the opinion that it could invite global sanctions on Pakistan.

Saeed's release may also coincide with the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which at least 166 people were killed. Judges from Lahore High Court rejected the appeal for the extention of his house arrest.

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

Speaking to PTI, an official source said, "The government can not afford to set Saeed free in the current circumstance".

"The court today said that there is nothing against Saeed, therefore he should be released". "And in case of Saeed, a designated terrorist, it also shows how Pakistan is hoodwinking the worldwide community on the issue of terrorism", a source said.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack.

"In May 2008, the USA department of the treasury designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224". He also has a bounty on his head for Dollars 10 million bounty offered by the United States of America for masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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