Jama'at-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on Wednesday sought court intervention in getting the government to convince the U.S. to withdraw the $10-million bounty announced by the State Department for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Along with his brother-in-law, Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki — for whom a bounty of $2 million has been announced under the Rewards for Justice programme — Saeed petitioned the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking both withdrawal of the bounty and assurance that the federal government and Punjab administration would not take action against them.
According to Saeed's lawyer A.K. Dogar, the petition hinged on a previous judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan which stated that international law does not permit any country to interfere with the freedom of any individual of another country in such a manner. Maintaining that his clients were brave people, their lawyer said they lived under the constant apprehension of being picked up.
The main plea, he added, was to get the Government of Pakistan to diplomatically make the U.S. realise that the bounty announcement was a violation of international law and get Washington to withdraw it. The LHC Chief Justice has asked the Attorney General of Pakistan and Advocate General of Punjab to submit their replies by April 25.
The bounty announcement — made by the U.S. in India earlier this month — has in a way strengthened Saeed's case because Washington had to subsequently admit that it did not have “information” that can be used against him in court.
In fact even before this clarification came Saeed was openly taunting the U.S., questioning the rationale in announcing a bounty for someone whose whereabouts are known.