Pak govt. may file fresh petition against Saeed to 'showcase its commitment'

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Lahore, July 15 (ANI): It seems that the threat of adverse international reaction over the failure of the Pakistani government to detain the Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the prime accused in the November 2008 Mumbai terror strikes may see the federal government file a fresh petition against him, even if the Punjab government decides to withdraw its case.

The provincial government, on Tuesday (July 14) had said that it lacks evidence against Saeed, so it was difficult for it to continue the case.

Punjab Advocate General, Raza Farooq told the Supreme Court that the government had instructed him to withdraw the petition.

Legal experts said the federal government can not challenge the provincial government if the later decides to withdraw the petition.

"If Punjab believes that it does not have sufficient grounds to challenge the high court's verdict, the federal government will have no legal basis to keep pursuing the appeal as it exists now," The Dawn quoted a senior lawyer, as saying.

Experts said the federal government may file a fresh petition, or work through some other law to keep Saeed behind bars, as his release could severely damage Islamabad's image internationally.

"The federal authorities, therefore, may invoke some law that allows it to hold and arrest Saeed without having to involve the provincial government which somehow seems reluctant to take action against him," said a top official on conditions of anonymity.

"The laws that the federal government may invoke will have a much larger and could cover his activities allegedly injurious to both internal and external order," he added.

However, former Attorney General, Malik Qayyum said that the federal government does not have powers to detain anyone, which only the provincial government can.

"Detention is meant to prevent someone from doing something. This is exclusively the provincial domain. Still the federal government can arrest people for acts they have already allegedly committed," said Qayyum. (ANI)

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