A Judicial Review Board of Pakistan’s Punjab province ordered the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed from nearly a year-long house arrest.
Rejecting the government’s plea to extend his detention for another three months, the board ordered Saeed’s release.
“The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case,” the board said.
Last month, the board had allowed a 30-day extension to the detention of Saeed which will expire next week.
The board’s order paves the way for Saeed’s release.
Saaed, who carries a US $10 million bounty on head is accused by India of orchestrating through the Lashkar-e- Toiba the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed over 160 people. He has repeatedly denied the charge.
In a video tweeted by a handle linked to the JuD hours after the board issued its order, Saeed blamed India for his detention and vowed to work for “Kashmir’s independence”.
“The representatives and officials of the government and ministries were all saying that I should not be freed but the judges heard all their arguments and set them aside and ordered my release,” he said.
“This is the victory of Pakistan’s independence and, God willing, Kashmir too will become independent because I’m fighting the case of Kashmir,” he added. “It is because of Kashmir that India is after me but all its efforts have been in vain.
“I pray to God to help me and…members of JuD that we can play a strong role for Pakistan’s freedom and Kashmir’s freedom.”