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LeT leader Hafeez Saeed remains under house arrest

Pakistan, Mon, 09 Mar 2009 IANS

Islamabad, March 9 (IANS) A Pakistani court Monday reserved orders on a plea for extending the house arrest of militant leader Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, whose Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group has been blamed for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage.


'The court has reserved its orders,' Saeed's lawyer told reporters outside the Lahore High Court after a review board heard his petition seeking his release.



'The Pakistani government is not convinced (of Saeed's role in Mumbai). Where is the justification for still keeping him under house arrest?' the lawyer asked.



The court order is significant because the judicial custody of six men arrested for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks expires March 12. If this is not extended, Saeed would have ample ground to ask for his own release.



Should that happen, LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and the group's communication expert Zarar Shah, who have also been arrested, could also seek their release.



Pakistan, which gave India till mid-March to reply to a set of 30 questions on the dossier New Delhi had submitted on the involvement of elements from this country in the Mumbai mayhem, has indicated it would find it difficult to keep the six men in custody unless New Delhi responded to the queries.



Interior Minister Rehman Malik reiterated this last week, saying India should respond 'quickly'.



Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency had Feb 12 filed charges against eight men on the day Malik admitted that part of the Mumbai conspiracy had been planned in this country.



Of the eight, six have been arrested and one is still at large. The eighth is Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole terrorist captured during the attack on India's financial capital and who is currently in the custody of the Mumbai Police.



Saeed was placed under house arrest in December along with other LeT leaders after the UN proscribed the Jamaat-ud Daawa -- which the terror group had morphed into after being banned in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi says the LeT staged.



The UN action followed evidence submitted by India and the US that the LeT were involved in the Mumbai attacks.


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