Ahead of 26/11 anniversary: Pak court orders release of Hafiz Saeed

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Just days before the ninth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, its mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest by a Pakistani court that rejected a plea by the Provincial government requesting an extension of three months the detention of Saeed under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act.

The sharp reaction came within hours of the Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court ordering Saeed's release on the expiry of his 30-day house arrest which is going to expire in a couple of days. Saeed was under house arrest after December 6.

Earlier, the home department of the Punjab government told the board that Pakistan might face sanctions from the global community if Saeed is released.

The authorities, however, chose to keep Hafiz Saeed and his aides under house arrest under Section 3 of the MPO.

Hafiz Saeed, head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), will be freed tomorrow after less than a year in detention following the decision by the LHC.

Saeed's supporters chanted slogans in favour of their leader. On Friday, Mr Saeed is expected to walk free. The official quoted by Times Now also reportedly said that the Federal Finance Ministry has "important evidence" against Saeed which would justify his detention.

Reports said the JuD chief is scheduled to be released on Thursday.

Hafiz Saeed - the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity said by the United States to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group - has been under house arrest since January.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

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