LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed the government’s counsel to come prepared on April 4 with arguments on the detention of Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and his four aides.
On Monday, the court heard arguments on behalf of the firebrand cleric, who has been under house arrest since January 30 on the recommendation of the federal government.
On January 28, Punjab government had placed the names of JuD leaders Saeed, Abdullah Ubaid from Faisalabad, Malik Zafar Iqbal Shahbaz and Abdul Rehman Abid from Muridke and Qazi Kashif Hussain of Multan on the terror watch-list. Two days later, they were put under house arrest for 90 days on the recommendation of the interior ministry, claiming the JuD and its charitable wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) were engaged in suspicious activities.
The petitioners’ counsel, AK Dogar, told the LHC division bench headed by Justice Kazim Raza Shamsi the detention orders for his clients were based on mala fide intentions of the government. He argued only the federal government could include names on the list of 4th Schedule and not the provincial government.
Dogar alleged the Punjab government included of names of his clients on the 4th Schedule list ‘illegally and unconstitutionally’ to please India and US that was tantamount to compromising the sovereignty of the country.
In reply to the petition, a law officer on behalf of Punjab Home Department stated the federal government informed the province about suspicious activities of the JuD and FiF detrimental to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan’s international obligations.
Being active members of these organisations, the petitioners’ activities needed to be closely monitored in the national interest, the officer wrote.
He pointed out that the petitioners could file representations against their detention orders before the home secretary according to law and requested the court to dismiss the petition.
Dogar contended his clients were detained under pressure from the US and India. “If the government finds anything wrong on part of his clients, it should deal with them in accordance with the law of the land and not under the obligations of the UN resolutions,” he believed.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2017.
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