4 days before 26/11 anniversary
Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was ordered released from detention in Lahore by a judicial review board on just four days before the ninth anniversary of the deadly 26/11 attack on Mumbai that left 166 dead.
The board, comprising judges of the Lahore high court ordered the release of the Mumbai attacks mastermind, who, besides heading the JuD, also oversees the operations of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The order rubs salt on the wounds of those who lost loved ones in the 26/11 assault and turns the spotlight on Saeed’s ability to evade serious action given his proximity to the Pakistani military which sees him as a prized “strategic” asset. Saeed’s release also turns the spotlight on the complete lack of progress in the trial against LeT leaders for the Mumbai terror attacks, with “operations in-charge” Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi freed from detention in April 2015. “The court has turned down Punjab government’s request for an extension of Hafiz Saeed’s detention. As his earlier detention for a month period is over said prosecutor Sattar Sahil. Observers in India wondered whether state agencies were really serious about detaining Saeed or his release was carefully scripted by his military allies.