ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s government Monday placed five men including Hafiz Saeed, a man on both the United States and the United Nations lists of designated terrorists, under protective custody, also known as house arrest.
Saeed was at the Al Qadsia mosque in Eastern Pakistani city of Lahore when a heavy contingent of police arrived to take him into custody. He was then taken to his house, which was declared a sub jail under orders of the government of Punjab province.
Saeed is the head of Falah-e-Insaniat foundation (FIF) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), both groups listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council. The groups were started by Saeed when their parent organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was declared a terrorist organization by the U.N. in 2005.
The U.S. addition of LeT to its Foreign Terrorist Organizations List back in 2002 forced former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to ban the group inside Pakistan. LeT was blamed for a series of attacks in 2008 on the Indian city Mumbai that left more than 170 dead.
Pakistan’s interior minister Nisar Ali Khan said that the group had been under observation since 2010.
“After being listed under the U.N. Security Council resolutions, any member state has to take steps which had not been taken until now. We are now fulfilling that obligation,” Khan said.
Pakistan was often blamed for supporting LeT since most of its activities were focused on its arch rival India.
“Lashkar-e-Taiba is perhaps the most blatant example of Pakistan’s support for jihadists groups,” Bill Roggio, a senior editor at the Long War Journal, said in his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year.
Roggio claimed that LeT indoctrinated jihadists at its sprawling headquarters in Muridke near Lahore.
A notification from the interior ministry of Pakistan, printed on the website of a local TV channel Geo News, asked the Punjab government to place FIF and JuD on a watch list.
This is not the first time Saeed has faced a house arrest. He was placed under one soon after the U.N. first declared him a terrorist. However, a local court ordered his release when it ruled that there was not enough evidence to connect him to terrorism.
The U.S. has promised $10 million to anyone who provides information leading to his arrest.