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SC rejects govt's appeal against Hafiz Saeed

Staff Report ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has rejected the government's appeals against ending Jamat-ud Dawa Chairman Hafiz Saeed's house arrest Tuesday. The centre and the Punjab government had filed petitions that the Lahore High Court had declared the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed and his accomplice Colonel Nazir illegal. The centre and the Punjab government...

SAMAA | - Posted: May 25, 2010 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 25, 2010 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
SC rejects govt's appeal against Hafiz Saeed

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has rejected the government's appeals against ending Jamat-ud Dawa Chairman Hafiz Saeed's house arrest Tuesday.

The centre and the Punjab government had filed petitions that the Lahore High Court had declared the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed and his accomplice Colonel Nazir illegal. The centre and the Punjab government had challenged this decision of LHC in the Supreme Court.

The three-member bench concluded during the hearing that the Punjab government had admitted not having sufficient evidence neither for the house arrest nor against Hafiq Saeed.

Punjab Deputy Advocate General told the court that after there is no evidence of Hafiz Saeed being involved in any illegal acitivities after the June 2009 house arrest ended.

AGENCIES ADD: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to release an Islamist militant who India accuses of masterminding a 2008 assault on its city of Mumbai, dismissing a government appeal.

Pakistan's central government and a provincial government had challenged the release of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group, by a high court last year.

But the Supreme Court quashed the appeals, saying the government had failed to provide sufficient evidence against Saeed.

“The appeals are dismissed,” Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, head of a three-member panel, said while announcing the decision.

India is likely to be dismayed by the decision, which comes shortly after the two countries agreed to resume talks that had been frozen by India after the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed.

India blamed the LeT group for the coordinated assault by 10 militants on its financial capital in November 2008.

Indian security forces killed nine of the militants while the tenth, a Pakistani, was caught alive. An Indian court sentenced him to death this month.

Pakistan has acknowledged that the Mumbai attack was plotted and partly launched from its soil and has put on trial seven suspects, including a senior commander of the LeT, for their roles in the assault.

But Pakistan says India has not provided sufficient evidence to prosecute Saeed.

Saeed co-founded the LeT in the 1990s to join a Muslim insurgency against Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.

But he stepped down as head of the group shortly after India accused it and another militant group of an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.

Pakistan outlawed the LeT in January 2002.

Pakistan detained Saeed in December 2008 after a U.N. Security Council resolution to put him and a charity he heads on a list of people and organisations supporting al Qaeda.

But the high court in the eastern city of Lahore released him last year on the grounds of insufficient evidence, prompting the government to appeal to the Supreme Court for his re-arrest.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh met on the sidelines of a regional conference last month and agreed to get talks going again to tackle their disputes.

The Supreme Court's decion on Tuesday was not expected to derail that process.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars since 1947. SAMAA/AGENCIES

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