The Lahore High Court (LHC) has asked the Punjab government to explain under what authority or power it has put Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed under house detention ‘without a trial’.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Kazim Raza Shamsi Saeed made this observation on Monday while hearing a plea filed by Saeed, his aides Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid. All have been put under house detention by the government under the anti-terrorism law.
After hearing the arguments of advocate AK Dogar, counsel for Saeed, Justice Shamsi observed the government should tell about its powers to detain a citizen like Saeed without trial.
Referring to an Indian movie wherein Saeed was portrayed as a villain, the judge said the government should see if there is any ‘international conspiracy’ against Pakistani citizens.
Dogar concluded his arguments saying the government had detained the JuD leaders without any justification.
Dogar also questioned the powers of the provincial government to include any citizen in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). He said such powers were solely vested with the federal government.
He said the government had detained him (Saeed) and others to please India and the United States.
He further argued that the UN resolution followed by the government action did not seek detention of any citizen. He said that the detention of the JuD leaders is a case of mala fide intention and ulterior motive on part of the government.
Dogar said that the government had no evidence that the petitioners were a risk to security of Pakistan, and merely on the basis of UN resolutions their liberty could not be curtailed.
The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders of JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) under house arrest in Lahore under the country’s anti-terrorism act. The court adjourned the hearing till April 4.
With PTI Inputs