Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed's release has raised questions about the efficacy of Pakistan's campaign against terror and the adequacy of the country's legal framework for dealing with militant leaders, the media said in Islamabad on Thursday.
Saeed and his aide Col (retired) Nazir Ahmed were freed by the Lahore High Court on Tuesday, nearly six months after they were detained in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.
The court said the government had not produced any evidence that showed the need to detain Saeed. "The release of Hafiz Saeed raises many questions about the sincerity and efficacy of the state in quashing jehadi networks that operate on its soil," the influential Dawn newspaper said in an editorial titled "Wanted: better laws".
It noted that the court was "left with little option" as the government had relied on "weak grounds" for seeking an extension of Saeed's detention.
"At the heart of the issue here is really the question of whether Pakistan's legal framework is adequate for dealing with men such as Saeed who are the ideological leaders and figureheads of groups which may be engaged in terrorist activities either abroad or on Pakistani soil," the Dawn said. "Do we have the laws that can put such people out of business while acknowledging the difficulty of tracing any particular crime to a group's top leadership? It appears not".