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Hafeez Saeed files case against Pakistan's 'VVIP culture'

By M Zulqernain
July 13, 2012 15:21 IST
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Lashkar e Tayiba founder Hafiz Saeed has approached a Pakistani court demanding an end to VVIP culture in the country, describing it as a "legacy of the colonial era" that "violates" the constitution and Islamic principles.

In a petition filed in the Lahore high court on Thursday, Saeed challenged the perks provided to top government functionaries and officials.

The petition, filed by Saeed's counsel AK Dogar, asked the court to issue a declaration that VIP and VVIP status is a "legacy of the colonial era" that violates the constitutional provisions of equality and social and economic justice.

Saeed, for whom the United States recently announced a bounty of USD 10 million, further claimed that such perks violate the principle of democracy as enunciated by Islam.

He contended that the functionaries were "living like kings and princes in palatial government houses".

He held up the British prime minister as an example, saying he lived in a small four-bedroom house built in the 17th century. Saeed claimed the way the British premier lives is "truly Islamic" and in line with Prophet Mohammed's teachings.

Saeed claimed the presidency, prime minister's house, governor's house and chief minister's house in all provinces and ministers' enclaves should be declared a violation of the Islamic principle of social and economic justice.

He said the government should be directed to follow the example of functionaries of Britain who travel in buses and trains.

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M Zulqernain in Islamabad
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