Firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed, who heads the UN-listed terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and has a $10 million USA bounty on his head, will be freed tomorrow after less than a year in detention following the decision by the Lahore High Court, a JuD official said. Subsequently, his house arrest had been extended several times.
Also, LHC review board chaired by Justice Abdul Sami Khan ruled that there is no other case against Saeed for which he should be immediately released from the house arrest.
The United States has designated Hafiz Saeed a terrorist and offered a $10 million bounty for him.
Saeed was put under house arrest in January. However, the court refused the plea and said Saeed will be released as per the earlier sentence.
With the fresh order from the court, Saeed would be free unless the Pakistan government files review petition against the Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) co-founder in any other cases.
A provincial law officer had told the Lahore High Court during the last hearing that a provincial review board would review Saeed's detention.
It also said that the Federal Finance Ministry had "some important evidence" against him to justify detention. Authorities arguing against the release of Saeed are of the opinion that it could invite global sanctions on Pakistan.
Welcoming the board's decision, JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said, "The friends of India are disappointed today". "It can not face worldwide backlash in the event of releasing the JuD chief".
On November 26, 2008, ten LeT operatives entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India's most populous metropolis, killing 166 people - including six Jews at the Nariman House. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.
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