A review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday refused to extend the detention orders of Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.
His current house arrest is going to expire on Nov 24 (Friday).
The review board under the chair of Justice Abdul Sami Khan passed these orders after a senior finance ministry official failed to convince the board that the release of Saeed would bring diplomatic and financial problems to the country.
During the last hearing, the government while seeking extension in the detention orders had argued that Saeed could not be released because the move would result in financial sanctions and a halt in foreign funding to the country. In response, the board had directed the government to send an official from the finance ministry to explain how release of a single individual would affect the entire country.
The JuD chief had been placed under house arrest on January 31 for 90 days. Subsequently, his house arrest had been extended several times.
Following the decision, Saeed told media that an end to his detention is tantamount to the victory of truth, calling it “a serious blow” to India’s demands.
Earlier, Saeed’s counsel informed the board that a court had declared the detention of his four aides as illegal. He argued that there is no proof against him and he had been detained illegally. He alleged that the government had placed him under house arrest to oblige the United States. Seeking an end to his detention, Saeed argued that his captivity without any legality amounts to a violation of the Constitution and his fundamental human rights.
The counsel of the federal government argued that the release of four associates of Saeed had created law and order issues. He also argued that his release may warrant international sanctions against the country. However, the board rejected the plea to extend his detention on the grounds of insufficient evidences.
Following the decision, admirers of Hafiz Saeed chanted slogans and showered him with rose petals.