Punjab government awaiting Saeed release verdict before appealing


Islamabad : Pakistan’s Punjab government is awaiting the detailed court verdict freeing 26/11 terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed before appealing against this in the Supreme court, a provincial minister said Thursday.

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“We have requested the Lahore High Court for the detailed verdict after which the Punjab government will file an appeal against the release of Hafiz Saeed,” Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told Geo TV.

Citing lack of evidence, the court Tuesday ordered terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Saeed’s release from house arrest. This was in spite of Pakistani government lawyers saying they had presented evidence linking Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) that the LeT had morphed into after being banned in 2001 to Al Qaeda.

India says Saeed had masterminded the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the 26/11 mayhem, has confessed to being a Pakistani national and to being trained by the LeT for the Mumbai carnage.

India Wednesday conveyed to Pakistan its “disappointment” over Saeed’s release, making it clear that normalisation of relations will be difficult till terrorism flowing from Pakistani soil is stopped.

India also underlined that it was in touch with the international community, specially the US, to pressure Pakistan to act against terrorism.

“We conveyed our disappointment at the release of Saeed. We made clear what we thought about it,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters after his meeting with Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik.

The meeting was at the Pakistani envoy’s request.

Menon also conveyed to Malik it was regrettable that Saeed, whose outfit has been proscribed by the UN Security Council, had been released despite his background and underlined that such a move raised questions over Pakistan’s sincerity in taking action against the Mumbai attackers.