Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday adjourned hearing on a petition filed by Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed seeking a direction to the government to provide him legal assistance in a case before an American court like it is doing with a former ISI chief and others.
The CJ will resume the hearing on March 29. The court adjourned the hearing after it was told the amicus curie, Advocate Ahmer Bilal Soofi, could not appear being busy in the Supreme Court.
At a previous hearing, Soofi had suggested that the federal government should not provide legal assistance to Hafiz Saeed before a US district court which has summoned him, former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other officials in a law suit filed by relatives of two US nationals.
Rabbi Gabriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka had been killed in Mumbai. Their son Moshe, who survived the attack, and others have filed nine claims against Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Azam Cheema and Sajid Majid of Lashkar-i-Tayba as well as ISI’s former chiefs Nadeem Taj and Ahmed Shuja Pasha and two ISI officials Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali. They are accused of providing material support for the Novemver 26 Mumbai attacks. The plaintiffs have sought $75,000 damages in each claim.
In his petition before the LHC, Hafiz Saeed submitted that he was the head of Jamatud Dawa, a charitable organisation, and had no link with the Lashkar-i-Tayba.
The petitioner stated that on December 16, 2010, he was served District Court summons in connection with a case relating to the Mumbai attacks. He said on December 31, 2010, the government had announced it could defend some parties including former ISI head Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
Saeed pleaded that as a citizen of Pakistan, he had the same rights as any other individual. He said the government should defend him like it was defending the ISI officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2013.