The government of Pakistan's Punjab province has decided to disassociate itself from the case against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the terror attack on Mumbai, and filed a plea for its withdrawal.
On Monday, the provincial government informed Pakistan's Supreme Court that it has challenged the release of Saeed due to certain 'confidential evidence' against him.
According to Punjab Advocate General Raza Farooq, Saeed was put under house arrest on the directive of the federal government, which failed to provide substantial evidence to maintain his house arrest.
Therefore, Farooq said the Punjab government has decided to disassociate itself from the case and a petition for withdrawal has been filed with the Supreme Court.
Farooq on Monday told the three-member bench, hearing pleas against a Lahore High Court decision to release Saeed and his aide Colonel (retired) Nazir Ahmed, that Saeed was detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1961.
However, Section 3 was not mentioned in the detention order. The three-member bench consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, asked the Punjab AG to satisfy the apex court, the Daily Times reports.
The AG said there was sufficient evidence against Saeed, but it could not be made part of the case record because it was confidential.
Farooq also submitted that it was binding on the government to implement the resolutions adopted by the United Nations. He said the detention of Saeed had become necessary as the UN had leveled allegations about the JuD chief's links with the Al Qaeda.
The Pakistan and the Punjab governments, through their petitions, requested the court to set aside the LHC decision of ending the detention of Saeed and Colonel (retired) Nazir Ahmed.
The petitions claimed the LHC had not considered the sensitivity of the case, especially in light of the prevailing security situation.