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  World   Asia  16 Oct 2017  Hafiz Saeed close to freedom as Pak drops all terror charges

Hafiz Saeed close to freedom as Pak drops all terror charges

Published : Oct 16, 2017, 1:29 am IST
Updated : Oct 16, 2017, 11:44 am IST

In March, India had asked Pakistan to re-investigate the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and also put Saeed on trial.

Saeed has been accused by the US and India of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks on the Indian financial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead. (Photo: AP)
 Saeed has been accused by the US and India of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks on the Indian financial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead. (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: Detained Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is a step closer to complete freedom as Pakistan on Sunday dropped all terror charges against him.

However, government officials said he will remain under house arrest until at least the end of this month.

 

The dropping of terror charges against Saeed came as Justice Ejaz Afzal of the Supreme Court chaired a session of Federal Review Board, at the court’s Lahore registry over the weekend.

Punjab province authorities on Saturday withdrew an application seeking to continue his detention under terrorism charges, paving the way for a possible early lifting of curbs on him.

Read: Pak withdraws request for extending detention of Hafiz Saeed under anti-terror law

Punjab’s home ministry told the review board that the government had not extended a notification issued for the house arrest of Saeed under the ATA and it wanted to withdraw the application. The board accepted the plea and disposed of the application.

 

Saeed is now only restricted from movement under the Maintenance of Public Order  (MPO) law, said an official.

“The house arrest order remains valid till the end of October. The terrorism charges have been dropped due to lack of evidence,” he said.

Another official said the house arrest could be extended again under the MPO.

“The government will review the situation and take a decision,” he added.  Saeed carries a US bounty of $10 million on his head.

Till late evening there was no reaction from the Indian government on the development. 

In March, India had asked Pakistan to re-investigate the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and also put Saeed on trial.

 

The trial, against Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) commander Zaki-ur Rehman and six others, has been on in a court in Islamabad for the past eight years. The provincial government had earlier applied to extend the house arrest for the fifth time.

Saeed and his four aides have already challenged their house arrest under MPO in the Lahore high court. Saeed’s lawyer AK Dogar had urged the court to order the release of Saeed and his aides since they were no longer facing charges under the ATA.

The JuD chief had been detained under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977, on January 31.

Saeed has been accused by the US and India of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks on the Indian financial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead. He, however, has repeatedly denied the allegation.

 

Next month will mark the ninth anniversary of the 26/11 attack. India blames Pakistan for delaying punishment to the suspects, but Pakistan claims India has not provided actionable evidence.

Tags: hafiz saeed, pakistan supreme court, terror charges, jamaat-ud-dawa
Location: Pakistan, Islamabad, Islamabad