Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hafiz Saeed cannot be tried without solid proof, says Mukhtar

LAHORE: Hafiz Saeed, chief of the banned Jamaatud Dawa, cannot be tried without solid proof, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said on Wednesday. He was talking to reporters outside parliament during a break in the meeting of the parliamentary committee on national security. According to a private TV channel, Mukhtar said Saeed had been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) regulation, which only allowed detaining a citizen for 90 days.

The detention could be extended, he said, but India had not given solid proof to the Pakistani government about the involvement of Saeed or the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month. “In the absence of solid proof, neither Hafiz Saeed nor any other leader detained at the moment can be tried in any court of law,” the channel quoted him as saying.

The crackdown against banned organisations including the Jamaatud Dawa would ensure the Pakistan soil is not used for terrorist activities, Mukhtar added. He said Pakistani army was on high alert despite India’s assurance it would not go to war.

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