LAHORE: The banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) has approached the Lahore High Court for the cancellation of 23 FIRs registered against its leaders and members on charges of using different properties for financing terrorist activities.

Malik Zafar Iqbal, a member of the banned JuD, filed a writ petition through Advocate A K Dogar, urging the court to declare that the properties mentioned in the FIRs were being used as mosques.

The petitioner states that the properties in question have never been used for terror financing as there is no tangible evidence on record to support such allegations.

He says describing Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and other leaders of the banned JuD as leaders of the proscribed outfit Lashkar-i-Tayyaba (LeT) is factually and legally incorrect. He submits that a full bench of the high court in a case against detention of the banned JuD leaders already declared in its 2009 judgment that Mr Saeed and others are not the banned LeT members.

The petitioner also cites a paragraph of the judgment wherein the full bench ruled, “Even after the perusal of the said documents we do not find any material declaring that the detention was necessary for the security of the petitioners and there is no evidence that the petitioners had any links with Al-Qaida or any terrorist movement, which could endanger the security of Pakistan except for the bald allegetions being leveled by the Indian lobby that they are involved in Mumbai attacks, but there is no such evidence or even any linkage borne out from the said documents against the petitioners. There is also no such evidence declaring that the petitioners are involved in anti-State activities and security risk.”

The petitioner, therefore, asks the court to declare that the properties mentioned in the FIRs stand dedicated for the purpose of mosques and being used for [the same purpose] for the last many years.

He further asks the court to declare the impugned FIRs unlawful and also declare that the banned JuD leaders nominated in them have no connection with the banned LeT.

Mr Saeed and others are in custody of the Counter Terrorism Department through physical remand granted by different anti-terrorism courts.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2019