ATC grants pre-arrest bail to Hafiz Saeed, others


LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday granted pre-arrest bail to Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and three others in a case pertaining to the banned organisation’s purported illegal use of land for its seminary.

The court granted interim bail to the accused, including Hafiz Saeed, Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar, until August 31 against surety bonds of Rs50,000 each.

During the hearing, the defence counsel said that the organisation was “not using any piece of land illegally” and urged the court to accept its bail pleas.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court (LHC), while hearing a petition filed by the JuD chief and his seven aides challenging a case carrying the charge of terror financing lodged by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), issued notices to the federal government, the Punjab government and the CTD.

The two-member bench of the LHC, comprising Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry and Justice Mohammad Waheed Khan, asked the parties to submit their respective responses within two weeks.

Arguing that the petition was non-maintainable, the counsel for the federal government objected to the notices but his objection was dismissed by the court and the proceedings were adjourned until July 30.

Saeed, Muhammad Ayub Sheikh, Zafar Iqbal, Syed Luqman Ali Shah, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Abdul Salam, Abdul Ghaffar and Abdul Qudoos Shahid were represented by AK Dogar during the proceedings.

The petitioners had stated in their petition that the facts narrated regarding them in the First Information Report (FIR) registered on July 1 were misrepresented and they were illegally described as members of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), while being slammed with allegations of terror financing.

Prior to this, the CTD on July 3 booked Saeed and others in cases of terror financing.

In a statement, the CTD spokesperson said that “cases have been registered against them in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collecting funds for terrorism through assets/properties held as trusts and non-profit organisations, including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawa’at-ul-Irshad trust and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust”.

The spokesperson further said that large-scale investigations have been launched into the financing of proscribed organisations, including JuD and LeT in connection with the implementation of United Nations (UN) sanctions against these designated entities and persons as directed by National Security Committee (NSC) in its meeting on January 1, 2019 which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementing the National Action Plan (NAP).