Pakistan court grants bail to Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, 3 others: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Pakistan’s Lahore has granted pre-arrest bail to Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and three others in a case pertaining to the outfit’s alleged illegal use of land for its seminary. The court granted interim bail to Saeed, Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar until August 31 against surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each. During the hearing, Saeed’s counsel claimed that his client was not using any piece of land illegally and urged the court to accept bail pleas.

Reports said the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued notices to the federal government, the Punjab government and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on a petition filed by Saeed and his seven aides. The JuD chief and his aides had challenged a case filed by the CTD for their involvement in terror financing. Justices Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry and Mohammad Waheed Khan of the two-member bench of the LHC had asked the parties to submit their replies within two weeks.

In July, the JuD leaders alleged the facts narrated in the FIR lodged on July 1 illegally described them as members of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and levelled unlawful allegation of terror financing.

On July 3, top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Earlier, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department had announced that Saeed and his aides were charged under terror financing for using their trusts to raise funds for terrorist activities. The cases were registered against them for collecting funds for terrorism financing in the name of their trusts. The cases were also registered against the trusts such as Al-Anfaal, Muaz Bin Jabalin and Dawat ul Irshad in Lahore, Multan, and Gujranwala for becoming a hub of fund allocation for terror financing. Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department had registered 23 cases against Hafiz Saeed and his 12 aides and the assets and trusts have been taken over in compliance with the UN sanctions.

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Bijaya Das