Pakistani authorities extends house arrest of Hafiz Saeed

August 1, 2017 10:30 pm

Pakistani policemen escort the head of Islamic group of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) (C) at a court in Lahore on May 13, 2017, after the expiry of his three-month detention period. (AFP photo)

Pakistani authorities have reportedly ordered an extension in the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the leader of charity group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the one accused by the United States and India of orchestrating 2008 attacks on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai that killed 166 people.
Reports on Tuesday suggested the government of ’s eastern province of Punjab had ordered the extension in the house arrest of Saeed based on recommendations by the central government in Islamabad.  
Pakistani officials have yet to confirm the reports which have been based on secret documents. A spokesman for JuD said, however, that Saeed and four other members of the charity group have been given extended term of house arrest.
Saeed, who has denied allegations of involvement in Mumbai attacks in 2008, was put on house arrest in January as officials feared his imprisonment could lead to riots by supporters in Punjab and other areas.
The secret documents obtained Tuesday also warned that the extended house arrest could spark fresh violence, saying that Saeed’s supporters plan to “spread chaos in the country” and stage demonstrations in his favor.

Pakistani supporters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation shout slogans during a protest after JuD leader Hafiz Saeed was placed under house arrest by authorities in Lahore on February 10, 2017. (AFP photo)

Saeed’s freedom had angered the US and India who still insist that Saeed was the main figure behind the attacks that brought the neighbors Pakistan and India to the brink of war. Washington has offered 10 million dollars for any information leading to his arrest and conviction.
The US government has also designated the JuD a front for the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group whose recruits swarmed across two luxury hotels and other targets in Mumbai in 2008 in a rampage that lasted several days. Saeed, in fact, founded the LeT in the 1990s but has distanced himself from the group over the years. India says Pakistan supports the LeT, a charge Islamabad denies.
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