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LAHORE: An official of the Punjab home department told a provincial review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday that keeping Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his four aides under detention was critical for the maintenance of law and order.

The board was hearing a Punjab government application seeking extension in the detention of Mr Saeed and his four aides.

The official said that the ministries of interior and foreign affairs had ample material to justify detention of the JuD leaders. He said the United Nations had banned the JuD and its leaders had been detained on direction of the federal government.

Earlier, police brought Mr Saeed and others to the high court under strict security arrangements for their production before the three-member review board.

Some workers of JuD were present at the court premises when Mr Saeed and four others were brought there.

Senior puisne judge Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali headed the board along with Justice Abdul Sami Khan and Justice Alia Neelum. The proceedings of the board were in-camera.

The board sought personal appearance of secretaries of the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to decide the Punjab government’s application.

The board adjourned the hearing till Oct 19 and directed the secretaries to appear along with relevant record.

JuD’s counsel A.K. Dogar told media later that the Punjab government had withdrawn its application before a federal review board for further detention of his clients after it failed to establish the charges.

He condemned detention of Mr Saeed and others, saying fresh detention order issued under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960 was based on mala fide intention. He rejected a claim of the provincial government that the UN’s resolution was being implemented by detaining the JuD leaders.

He insisted that not a single criminal case had been registered against any member of the JuD.

Advocate Dogar did not appear before the review board as detainees, under the law, are supposed to defend themselves on their own.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017