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Pakistan police await instructions to act against Saeed

Pakistani police said they were awaiting instructions from the Govt for taking further action against Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, who was placed under house arrest after two cases were registered against him under an anti-terror law.

world Updated: Sep 23, 2009 15:03 IST

Pakistani police on Wednesday said they were awaiting instructions from the government for taking further action against Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, who was placed under house arrest after two cases were registered against him under an anti-terror law.

Police imposed restrictions on Saeed's movements late on Sunday night following the registration of two cases against him in Faisalabad city for making speeches in which he allegedly incited people to wage jehad and sought funds for his outlawed group.

Lahore police chief Pervaiz Rathore said police are now awaiting instructions from the government on the action to be taken against Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding the Mumbai attacks.

"Either he will be handed over to police in Faisalabad in connection with the two cases registered against him there, or the cases will be transferred to Lahore," Rathore told PTI.

"We are awaiting a decision by the authorities concerned," he added.

Though Rathore maintained that Saeed was under "house arrest" and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had said on Tuesday that the JuD chief was "in custody", authorities are yet to issue any formal written order for his detention.

It is expected that a formal order may be issued tomorrow after the end of the three-day holidays for Eid-ul-Fitr.

Saeed's lawyer has said he plans to mount a legal challenge against his detention once courts reopen after the holidays.

This is the first time that cases have been registered against Saeed under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. In the past, he has been held under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance, which allows authorities to detain persons for up to 90 days without charges.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court in June.

India has insisted that Pakistan should take action against Saeed for his alleged role in masterminding and executing the Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 180 people.

Though Islamabad maintained for months that the evidence provided by New Delhi against Saeed was inadequate for arresting or prosecuting him, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said recently that authorities are probing the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief's role in the Mumbai incident.