Hafiz Saeed, Chief of Pakistan based terrorist organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba has been granted anticipatory bail by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore today. According to reports, Saeed has been granted bail along with three others in a case relating to illegal use of land by JuD for its seminary.
The ATC court granted bail to Hafiz Saeed, Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar against the surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each until 31st August. The counsel appearing for JuD has contended before the court that the outfit was not using any piece of land illegally requesting the court to accept bail pleas of the accused.
Earlier this month, Saeed was booked along with his 12 accomplices over terror funding allegations. Currently, he is facing around 23 terror-related cases in Pakistan but the Pakistan government did not produce concrete evidence before the court. As a result, he was granted bail by the court.
Meanwhile, notices were issued by the Lahore High Court (LHC) to the federal government, the Punjab government and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in connection with a petition filed by Saeed and his seven aides. The petition was filed challenging a case regarding a charge of terror financing lodged by the CTD. A two-member bench of the LHC has given two-weeks time to the parties to submit their replies.
This judicial relief for Saeed comes despite the FATF putting the government of Pakistan under tremendous pressure to display concrete action taken against terror organisations operational on their soil. The FATF had given Pakistan a deadline till October this year to show the cash-strapped nation has taken solid steps to stop terror funding.
In the month of March this year, the United Nations had rejected Saeed’s appeal of removing his name from the list of banned terrorists. Saeed was the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He was banned by the UN in December 2008 after the attack. He is also the founder of the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.
It is notable here that the Jamat-ul-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat are the front organisations run by Saeed to finance terror outfits working under his patronage.