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Opposition lawmakers hold protest for Hafiz Saeed's release

Opposition lawmakers hold protest for Hafiz Saeed's release

Other government officials have said recently that a broader diplomatic campaign - pushed by India - to isolate Pakistan over its perceived failure to stamp out militancy has taken a toll, even involving pressure from long-time ally China.

Saeed also asked his followers to raise the issue of Kashmir during Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed every year in Pakistan on February 5, and said that he was not afraid of being arrested.

"Only a credible crackdown on the mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attack and terrorist organisations involved in cross-border terrorism would be proof of Pakistan's sincerity", it added in a statement.

The opposition, led by cricketer-turned-politican Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, said the Sharif government has taken the step on the pressure of US President Donald Trump and Modi government.

He also said the names of several JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat activists have been placed on the "exit control list" to stop them from leaving the country.

The worldwide community should take notice and understand that Pakistan is a democratic society where judiciary takes free, independent and transparent decisions.

The authorities on Monday put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest along with four other individuals, namely as Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz.

However, another leading paper, The News, reported on Monday that U.S. officials had, in the last days of the Obama administration, threatened sanctions or other penalties against Pakistan if action was not taken against Saeed, JuD and the charities he heads.

Different lawyers' organizations have condemned the detention of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed among five leaders of Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) and termed it unconstitutional, illegal and a violation of basic human rights. But never before had the army declared his detention as "official policy in national interest". If indeed India is serious about its allegations, it should come up with concrete evidence against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed which is sustainable in court of law in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere in the world.

India accuses Saeed of being the mastermind of the November 2008 attack in Mumbai city that left more than 160 people dead.

"We want the Kashmir issue to be resolve via United Nations resolutions and dialogue, but this desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a weakness", he said.

The detention order placed JuD and a foundation tied to it on a watch list, and also ordered the detention of four other members.

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