JuD chief Hafiz Saeed today walked free from house arrest and said he would gather people across Pakistan for the “cause of Kashmir” and try to help Kashmiris get their “destination of freedom”.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty for his role in terror activities, was freed after the government decided against detaining him further in any case. He was under detention since January. “I was detained for 10 months only to stop my voice for Kashmir,” Saeed told his supporters gathered outside his residence to celebrate his release.
“I fight for the case of Kashmiris. I will gather the people from across the country for the cause of Kashmir and we will try to help Kashmiris get their destination of freedom,” he said upon his release.
Punjab province’s Judicial Review Board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday unanimously ordered Saeed’s release on the completion of his 30-day house arrest which expired last night.
Saeed said that he was detained when he announced a month of solidarity for Kashmiris in January.
Using the release order to buttress his claim of “innocence”, Saeed said: “I am very happy that none of the allegations against me proved as three judges of the LHC ordered my release... India had levelled baseless allegations against me. The LHC’s review board decision has proved that I am innocent”.
The JuD chief said that the US, on India’s request, pressured Pakistan to detain him. “I was detained on the pressure of the US on the Pakistani government. The US did so on the request of India,” he claimed.
Several JuD supporters, gathered outside Saeed’s house in Lahore’s Jauhar town to celebrate his release, shouted anti- India slogans and described their leader as “a hope for the Kashmiri people”.
“We are happy to see our leader free. Hafiz sahib received his release order from the jail officials. Now he is a free man,” JuD spokesman Ahmad Nadim said.
“Saeed has been freed as the Punjab government decided not to detain him further in any other case,” a top government official told PTI.
He said that after a long deliberation, it has been decided to follow the review board’s decision.