Pakistan’s former President Gen Pervez Musharraf demanded Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s release from house arrest. He claimed the Mumbai attack mastermind terrorist group was a “very fine NGO” engaged in relief activities.
He said, “Hafiz Saeed should definitely be freed. They are not terrorists, they run a very fine NGO, they contribute to relief activities in post earthquake and post floods periods in Pakistan. They run great welfare organisations.”
Dawn reported, he told a Pakistani TV channel that Hafiz’s Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) a front of Jamaat-ud Dawah was involved in “religious” youth in relief and welfare activities.
In an interview, Musharraf said India was against Saeed and the group JuD as “their supporters go voluntarily to India-held-Kashmir to fight with the Indian Army”.
The ex-president also accused Indian Army for ongoing terrorism in Kashmir and added that the UN banned the JuD only because of India’s insistence.
Musharraf told, “In my opinion, they are against Taliban (in Pakistan), they did not commit any terrorism in Pakistan or anywhere in the world. So they should be dealt separately.”
Last month, the government included Saeed and 37 others of his terror group on Exit Control List which barring him from leaving the country. He and four others were also put under house arrest for 90 days.
Hafiz told the government to remove his name from the list. He said he is not a security risk.
The interior ministry put Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat on a “watch-list” for six months. But the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind alleged, “The JuD has never been involved in any terrorist activity in (within) Pakistan.” He also argued that the federal or provincial government has never produced any material against him in a Pakistani court.
He mentioned an observation of a full bench of the Lahore High Court in a 2009 case against him where the court said, “In the present case the government is not in possession of any evidence that the petitioners are risk to the security of Pakistan and merely on the basis of the UN Resolution their liberty cannot be curtailed.”
Earlier this month, JuD and its supporters had threatened to launch a countrywide protest if the chief was not released from the house arrest.