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Pakistan court summons counter-terror official on Hafiz Saeed's petition challenging arrest

Pakistan court summons counter-terror official on Hafiz Saeed
Highlights

Hafiz Saeed 's counsel said that Indian lobby has been propagating against his client as he was not involved in the deadly Mumbai attacks.

LAHORE: A Pakistani court on Tuesday summoned an official of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police on a petition filed by Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed challenging his arrest in the terror financing cases.

The Lahore High Court held the hearing after Saeed and 67 other leaders of Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF) filed a fresh petition removing the objection of the Registrar office.

The LHC Registrar office earlier had raised an objection on the petition of Saeed and others that they attached pictures of mosques with it (petition) which were built on the occupied land in order to give it a "religious colour".

"A two-member LHC bench comprising Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi and Justice Mushtaq Ahmed on Tuesday issued the notice to the CTD to file a reply on Saeed and others' petition within two weeks.

The court also summoned a CTD official concerned after two weeks to explain about the arrest of Saeed and others in terror financing," a court official told PTI after the hearing.

The petitioners' counsel Advocate A K Dogar gave arguments in the court. Dogar said Saeed has no link with Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organisation.

"Hafiz Saeed also has no connection with the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba," he said.

Dogar further said the Indian lobby has been propagating against his client as he was not involved in the deadly Mumbai attacks.

Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which was responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. He was arrested on July 17 in a terror financing cases.

He is kept at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in high security.

The JuD chief and others prayed to the LHC to declare that the property detailed in the petition was "dedicated for the purpose of mosques and is being used as such, therefore, the FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect."

The CTD had registered 23 FIRs against the petitioners on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province.

The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets and properties made and held in the names of Trusts or Non Profit Organisations (NPO), including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust.

"These suspects made assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in ATCs (Anti Terrorism Courts) for commission of these offences," the CTD said.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.

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