LAHORE: Punjab Home Department has said if Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is released from detention, his activities will pose great threats to public safety and cause breach of public order.
The home department claimed this in a report submitted before the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday in connection with a petition filed by JuD leaders, including Saeed, challenging their detention.
However, LHC judge Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi adjourned hearing of the petition till Sept 19 as the JuD counsel sought time to go through the home department’s report.
Saeed and other JuD leaders – Abdullah Ubaid of Faisalabad, Zafar Iqbal and Abdul Rehman Abid of Markaz-e-Tayyaba Muridke and Kashif Niazi of Multan – were placed under house arrest on Jan 30.
The JuD and its wing the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) were placed on the watch list and put on the second schedule under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 after former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government was taking steps to fulfill its international obligations.
The report said 23 criminal cases had been registered against the FIF, but the detainee, Saeed, had now launched his political party ‘Milli Muslim League’ that had also fielded its candidate for the NA-120 by-election despite the fact that the party was not yet registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
It said Saeed and other leaders had been detained to stop them from collection of ‘illegal funds’ for the JuD and the FIF. However, the organisations had illegally carried on collecting funds despite the detention.
Additional Home Secretary Azam Suleman had personally heard representatives of the Counter Terrorism Department, other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the JuD leader before dismissing their representation, it said.
The report said all the LEAs had strongly recommended keeping the JuD leader under detention in the larger public interest. Launching a yet to be registered political party and fielding a candidate for by-polls reaffirmed the LEAs apprehensions that activities of Saeed would create law and order if released.
The petitioner’s counsel, Advocate A K Dogar, contended that the government in the impugned detention orders had only shown apprehension against the petitioners. However, he said, under the law no presumption could give rise to any apprehension unless there was some piece of evidence.
Dogar argued that an order for preventive detention had to satisfy the requirements laid down by the Supreme Court in its many judgments but in the instant case blatant violation of laws had been committed by the government.
He also alleged that the government detained the petitioners to please India and America, as different courts of the country in the past had already declared detention of JuD leaders illegal.