FIRs against Hafiz Saeed dismissed by LHC

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday, quashed two cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed but said he would remain under house-arrest.

The court ruling is likely to anger India which says the Saeed, was the mastermind behind last November’s assault on Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.

Pakistani police last month lodged two complaints against Saeed for delivering a speech on jihad and appealing for funds for his charity JuD.

Saeed had lodged an appeal against the cases and a two-member bench of the court decided in his favour.

‘The petition has been accepted and the cases are quashed,’ the court in Lahore said in an order.

Saeed’s lawyer argued that his JuD charity was not banned and therefore Saeed should be allowed to make speeches and collect funds.

India wants Pakistan to prosecute Saeed, founder of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, before it resumes a peace process put on hold after the Mumbai attack.

Pakistan says Saeed is being investigated and he would be arrested if solid evidence against him is found.

Pakistan detained Saeed in December, after a UN Security Council resolution put him and his charity on a list of people and organisations supporting al Qaeda.

But a court released him in June on grounds of insufficient evidence, prompting the government to appeal to the Supreme Court for his re-arrest.

That case is pending while Saeed remains under virtual house arrest after Pakistani authorities curbed his movements last month, citing security reasons.

A spokesman for Saeed said policemen were still deployed outside his home in Lahore. —Reuters

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