Pressure from several quarters, including the US, led to Pakistan taking steps to curtail the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed but it is still not clear if the move was part of a larger crackdown on his terrorist network.
Saeed and four others were put under detention in Punjab Province last night.
He was at Masjid-e-Qadsia Chauburji when a heavy contingent of police surrounded the JuD headquarters. Saeed was reportedly later taken to his residence at Johar Town after declaring it a sub-jail.
Later, Saeed released a video in which he claimed that Trump was pressurising the authorities to arrest him since he wanted to become friends with Modi.
There has been no official comment yet from the Pakistani government.
Saeed was collected by the police at the headquarters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which calls itself a charity but is a well-known front for the Lashkar and is accepted as such by the United Nations. Shortly before dawn on Tuesday, police took him to his house. Saeed blamed the rapport between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump for his detention. “This is taking place because of Modi’s insistence, Trump’s pressure and Pakistan’s helplessness,” Saeed told media.
The detention order surfaced hours after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan hinted that a crackdown was imminent. He told reporters in Islamabad earlier Monday that, given the group had been under observation for years and was blacklisted internationally, Pakistan is “under obligation to take some action.”
“The situation will be clear on this by tomorrow,” he said, without giving further details. The order from the interior ministry placed Dawa and a foundation tied to it on a watch list, and also ordered the “preventative detention” of four other members in various cities in Punjab.
India has long seethed at Pakistan’s failure either to hand over or prosecute those accused of planning and organizing the Mumbai attacks, while Pakistan has alleged that India failed to give it crucial evidence.
Hours after Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was placed under house arrest in Lahore, the Indian government has welcomed the move and has asked Pakistan to confirm the detention.
Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre has told India Today that if the details that have emerged so far are correct, then it is a “welcome step”.
“We will have to confirm this bit and if this is true then this is a welcome step from their side. We have been trying for peace with our neighbours even as our forces remain ready on the borders,” he said.