With Pakistan launching a crackdown on seminaries and health facilities run by him, Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has said he will challenge the government's "illegal" action in the court of law, saying that it has been taken to “please India and US”.
Under pressure to act against banned groups, Pakistan took control of a seminary and four dispensaries run by Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
"After detaining me for 10 months without any legal ground, the government has now issued a notification regarding taking over our schools, dispensaries, ambulances and other assets. It will hamper our relief operations in Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Azad Kashmir and northern areas," Saeed said after the government's action.
According to the interior ministry notification, a copy of which available with PTI, "the federal government is pleased to direct that requisite actions with regard to freezing and taking over of assets (movable, immovable and human resource) associated with JuD and FIF shall be taken in pursuance of Ordinance No II of 2018."
The notification issuance date is February 10.
Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah has also said that on the interior ministry's directions, Hafiz Saeed and his charities have been banned to operate in Pakistan and the government have already started taking over all the facilities, offices, schools, dispensaries and seminaries that belong to the JuD and FIF.
In a message to his workers, Saeed appealed for calm and asked them not to give any violent reaction to the government action against their charities.
"This is the most difficult time but the workers must remain peaceful. The rulers are acting like more loyal than a king. India never bothered to implement UN resolutions on Kashmir but our rulers have got passed the president ordinance to take action against patriotic organisations like JuD and FIF," he said.
Saeed said the Pakistani government is "taking extreme action against us" to please America and India.
"We will fight our case in court against this illegal action," said Saeed, who heads the charity JuD, believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group.
Pakistan has come under intense pressure to rein in terror groups after US President Donald Trump accused the country of harbouring terrorists and suspended nearly $2 billion in security assistance to it.
(With PTI inputs)