Lahore High Court orders Pakistan government not to ‘harass’ Hafiz Saeed

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday asked the Pakistan government not to ‘harass’ US-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed and let him continue his ‘social welfare activities’.

Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11, was freed by the same High Court from house arrest in November last year. Last month, the Islamabad High Court had also passed an order that cleared the way for Hafiz’s political party Milli Muslim League (MML) to contest elections.

The court’s order came on a petition filed by Saeed’s organisation Jumaat-Ul-Dawa. The organisation had petitioned the court to curb the government’s efforts to restrict the seminaries and health facilities run by Saeed. According to reports, the petition stated that the Pakistan government is curtailing their welfare activities under pressure by the US and India. The court had sent notices to the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province and the federal government. It has sought a reply by 23rd April.

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Interestingly, the Lahore High Court order has come on the same day on which the United Nations Security Council disclosed its updated terror list which featured Hafiz Saeed and his organisations. On 3rd April, the US had also declared the MML as a terror organisation.

The updated terror list by the UNSC had a total 139 individuals and groups from Pakistan alone. The list had also named Dawood Ibrahim and Osama Bin Laden’s heir Ayman Al Zawahiri as terrorists.

Pakistan has been facing international disgrace and sanctions for its lack of substantial efforts to curb terror havens on its territory. In February, the US state department had released a press statement demanding Pakistan to prosecute Hafiz Saeed and his terror organisations to the fullest extent of the law.

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