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Pak court orders Hafiz Saeed to be freed from house arrest

23 November 2017

A review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the release from house arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, who pledged that he and his followers in the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) will play a strong role for Kashmir's independence.

Hafiz Saeed was under house arrest since January this year.

"His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow", Sahil was quoted as saying.

JuD, which has operated freely across Pakistan and is popular for its charity work, is considered by the USA and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the attack on India's financial capital.

Saeed has denied involvement in the attacks.

As such, Saeed is all set to be released from house arrest after the expiry of the detention order on Thursday.

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While the Pakistani courts have once again given Hafiz Saeed a breather, USA seems to be on the same page with India.

It also said that the Federal Finance Ministry had "some important evidence" against him to justify detention.

On January 31, Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain - were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti- Terrorism Act 1997. On Friday, Mr Saeed is expected to walk free.

Speaking to PTI, an official source said, "The government can not afford to set Saeed free in the current circumstance. It can not face global backlash in the event of releasing the JuD chief", the official source told PTI.

In October, the board had agreed to extend the house arrest of Saeed, which was about to end next week.

Ten LeT militants killed 166 people and wounded hundreds in Mumbai in November, 2008.

Pak court orders Hafiz Saeed to be freed from house arrest