Lahore court orders release of 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed

Lahore court orders release of 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed

A Pakistani court has rejected the government's plea to extend for three more months the house arrest of a USA -wanted militant who founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.

A judicial review board rejected a request from the government of Pakistan's Punjab, to extend Saeed's detention by three months.

Mumbai attack mastermind and banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the United States, the Trump administration said on Wednesday, hours after a Pakistani court ordered his release from detention.

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The JuD chief, through his lawyer AK Dogar Advocate, had challenged his detention orders submitting that the requirements laid by the Supreme Court for the objective were not fulfilled.

Saeed's aides were freed in the last week of October after the Punjab government did not extend the notification for their detention under the Anti-Terrorism Act and withdrew an application pending before the federal review board.

Hafiz Saeed and his four aides were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days, on January 31, under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

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In a video message after his release, Saeed claimed that he was detained because of his associations with the disputed Kashmir region. Saeed's detention ends on Thursday. A large number of JuD workers also gathered on the court s premises.

Stating that his client is innocent, Saeed's lawyer AK Dogar told the media that "there is no evidence against him, the court can not pronounce him guilty". On Friday, Mr Saeed is expected to walk free.

As per the law, the government can detain a person for up to three months under various charges, but for an extension an approval from a judicial review board is required. The U.S. has also declared JuD a global terrorist organization, condemning it as a front for the outlawed Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group blamed for carrying out the Mumbai carnage that left 166 people dead. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

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