Hafiz Saeed
Hafiz SaeedIANS File

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and four of his associates, who were placed under house arrest by the Pakistan government last month, have challenged their detention in the Lahore High Court. The petition will be heard on Wednesday.

Pakistan had put Saeed and four members of JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation — Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid — under house arrest in Lahore on January 30 under the Anti-Terrorism Act. All five of them have challenged their detention in the Lahore HC through senior advocate AK Dogar. Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan will hear the petition on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Erum Sajjad Gull had initially filed the petition, but it was dismissed by the Lahore HC on technical grounds. The court said that the petitioner did not produce valid notification of the JuD chief's detention by the Pakistan government.

Saeed and his associates, in their petition to the court, said that the Pakistan government had placed them under house arrest for 90 days, effective from January 30, on the orders of the Interior Ministry under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997. The petitioners said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had claimed that the government was fulfilling its obligations under United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) resolutions, the Press Trust of India reported.

"The government has proved that the Pakistan is a servile and a dependent nation. We have been serving the country like iconic social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi for the last many years," they said adding that the US had said that Pakistan would face sanctions if it did not take action against JuD. They further added that the government had detained Saeed in 2008 on the basis of the same UNSC resolution before the Lahore HC set him free in 2009.

"The government has no evidence that we are a risk to security of Pakistan and merely on the basis of the UNSC resolutions our liberty cannot be curtailed," the petitioners said and prayed to the court to declare the government order being mala fides without jurisdiction and void the fundamental right to their life and liberty. They requested the court to order for their liberty.

Meanwhile, an official from the Punjab Home Department told PTI that licenses of 44 weapons were cancelled as part of the Pakistan government's action against Saeed and his terror outfits.

"Both JuD and FIF are engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan's obligations to the UNSC Resolution and both organisations have been placed in the Second Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Kashif Niazi are engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security," a notification by the Punjab Home Department stated.