Following mounting pressure from the Trump administration, Pakistani authorities have placed Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-udDawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and four others under detention on Monday night.
The step was taken under an anti-terrorism act. As per a police officer, Saeed, a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), would be placed under house arrest and that his house had been declared a sub-jail.
The police implemented the detention order issued on Sunday by Punjab province’s interior ministry following a directive from the federal interior ministry on January 27. Saeed was at Lahore’s Ma sjid-e-Qudsia Chauburji when the detention took place.
A “heavy contingent of police has surrounded the JuD headquarters”, said JuD official Ahmed Nadeem.
As per the Pakistani defence ministry official, though Islamabad had not received anything from the Trump administration, it had been feeling US pressure on the matter.
“Trump is taking hard decisions against Muslim countries; there is open talk of actions against Pakistan also. So yes, this was a consideration,” he said.
JuD member Nadeem, too, said, “This government has buckled under pressure.”
“The organisation (JuD) has been `under observation’ since 2010-11. Since it has also been listed by the UN Security Council (Sanctions Committee), we are bound to take some steps. We are taking those steps to fulfil our obligations,” the interior minister told reporters.
“The commanding police officer told us that he has with him the house arrest order of the JuD chief issued by the Punjab home department,” Nadeem said.
“We are going to shift Hafiz Saeed from Masjid Al-Qudsia Chauburji to his Jauhar Town residence to place him under house arrest on the orders of the government,” said a senior police.
National flags were hoisted at the JuD offices in Lahore, instead of party flags. The provincial authorities have also started to remove JuD banners from Lahore’s roads, suggests reports.