The Lahore High Court on Monday reserved its decision on the extension sought by the Pakistani authorities of the house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and five others,who were brought to the court amidst tight security.
The JuD chief and five other detained leaders of the terrorist group,which has been banned by the UN,were produced before a judicial review board in Lahore of the Lahore High Court,comprising three judges.
Saeed was placed under house arrest on December 12 last year and the five other JuD leaders – Haji Amir Hamza,Col (retired) Nazir Ahmed,Qazi Kashif Niaz,Mufti Abdul Rehman and Qari Yasin Baloch – were detained at around the same time.
They were all placed under house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance,which allows a person to be held for up to 90 days.
The home department of Punjab province sought an extension of their house arrest,which is set to expire after a few days.
The JuD leaders were driven to the court in armoured vehicles. Security personnel in plainclothes formed a ring round the courtroom in which the JuD operatives were presented before the review board.
Heavily armed policemen were deployed outside the court and all around the building.
Reports said police also removed some JuD activists who gathered outside the court. Saeed’s lawyer Zafar Iqbal told reporters that the authorities had sought an extension in the house arrest without giving any valid reasons for the detention of the JuD leaders. The request for extending their detention was,based on foreign media reports,he claimed.
Iqbal said the Pakistani authorities had not even received India’s response to their 30 questions seeking more information on the Mumbai attacks.
He claimed the authorities had no grounds for holding the JuD leaders. He also said the review board had reserved its decision after hearing the detainees and expected to issue its order soon.
Responding to a petition filed by Saeed’s wife Maimoona,the Lahore High Court last week asked Punjab’s home department to give the reasons for his detention within seven days.