Pakistan court orders release of Hafiz Saeed

A Pakistan court on Wednesday ordered the release from house arrest of terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed, blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

A Judicial Review Board consisting of judges from the Lahore High Court rejected a plea from the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province to extend his detention by three months, Dunya News reported.

The court had warned the government last month that it would end Saeed’s house arrest if enough evidence was not submitted against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief.

Saeed and four aides were placed under house arrest in January under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Saeed’s advocate A.K. Dogar earlier said the JuD leaders had been detained merely on the basis of allegations, without any substantial evidence against them, and called the call for extending the detention “illegal” and a “violation of basic rights”.

In previous proceedings, the Punjab Home Department has argued that that if he was released, his activities would pose a serious threat to public safety and public order.

Saeed is accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008 which left 166 Indians and foreigners dead. New Delhi has repeatedly urged Islamabad to punish him for the massacre.

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