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Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed's release challenged

The Punjab provincial government on Friday moved the Pakistan Supreme Court against the Lahore High Court decision to release Jamaat ud Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, whom India has blamed for masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

world Updated: Apr 04, 2012 15:46 IST

The Punjab provincial government on Friday moved the Pakistan Supreme Court against the Lahore high court decision to release Jamaat ud Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, whom India has blamed for masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

"The Punjab government has challenged the Lahore High Court's earlier decision to release...Hafiz Saeed at the Supreme Court's Lahore registry," DawnNews reported.

On June 2, the Lahore High Court had released him citing insufficient evidence.

"The court has said the detention of Hafiz Saeed was a violation of the constitution and the law of this country," his counsel AK Dogar had then said.

Saeed is the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group that India blames for the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. The LeT had morphed into the JuD after the Pakistani government banned it under international pressure in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament that New Delhi blamed on the terror group.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the Mumbai mayhem, has admitted to being a Pakistani national and to being trained by the LeT for the Mumbai attacks. Saeed was detained last December after the United Nations declared the JuD a terrorist group.

He was originally detained for one month and this had been successively extended. On May 5, his detention was extended by 60 days.

After the UN action, the authorities arrested some 40 JuD members and closed dozens of its offices and relief units in the country.

India had in January handed over a dossier to Pakistan linking the LeT and some Pakistani nationals to the Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

In February, Pakistan admitted that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was planned in this country and also submitted a list of 30 questions on the Indian dossier over the evidence on the Mumbai attack. India replied to this in March. Pakistan then sought another set of clarifications that India has provided.

Also in December 2008, Pakistani authorities arrested LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi after India handed over to the FBI intercepts of telephone conversations between him and the Mumbai attackers.

The FBI concluded that the intercepts were genuine and that Lakhvi was the handler of the Mumbai attackers.

Four of Lakhvi's associates - Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hammad Amin Saddiq and Shahid Jameel Riaz - have also been jailed.