The provincial authorities on Monday issued orders to place Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed under house arrest, DawnNews reported and JuD spokesperson later confirmed.
The government launched a crackdown against JuD and a heavy contingent of police was deployed around the JuD headquarter and offices in Muridke and Lahore.
“A large police team arrived (at JuD headquarters) and told us that Hafiz would be placed under house arrest,” said the secretary of information for JuD, Nadeem Awan.
Awan said the police told them they had an arrest warrant for Saeed and five others at JuD headquarters.
Hafiz Saeed was reportedly present at the Qudsia Mosque located in Chauburji area of Lahore. Contingents of police and other law-enforcing agencies reached the area and surrounded the premises, sources said.
Police sources further informed that Saeed will be shifted to his residence in the Johar Town area of the provincial capital, which will then be declared as a sub-jail.
Saeed has been detained under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977, a notification issued by the interior ministry said.
Meanwhile, the district intelligence committee has suggested the government put the JuD chief’s name in fourth schedule.
Moreover, national flags have been hoisted at the JuD offices in Lahore, instead of party flags, on the directives of the provincial home department, it added.
The provincial authorities have also started to remove the banners of JuD from the roads of Lahore.
The move comes after years of pressure on Pakistan to put Saeed on trial and could ease recently escalating tensions with neighbour and arch-foe India.
Saeed had been accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial capital Mumbai that killed 166 people.
He, however, has repeatedly denied involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Awan said the Pakistani government had been under pressure from the United States to take action against Saeed or face sanctions. “This government has buckled under the pressure.”
In 2012, the United States announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafiz Saeed for his alleged role in the attack in which six American citizens were also killed.