Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: There were conflicting signals from the Pakistan government on Hafiz Saeed on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told reporters in the south Punjab city of Multan that Saeed, leader of the Jamat-ud-dawa who is charged by India with masterminding the November last Mumbai attacks, was “in custody” of the authorities. Prime Minister Gilani did not say that Saeed was under arrest.

“The Interior Ministry can tell you the actual position but I believe he is in custody,” he said. “A decision on his case will be taken on the basis of laws and evidence.”

Meanwhile, Saeed’s lawyer A. K. Dogar said there was yet no order for his arrest or house arrest, and even the informal restrictions on his client’s movements had been lifted since Monday.

“It seems that the restrictions went only as far as preventing him from going to the Gaddafi stadium to lead the Eid prayers yesterday. But he has been in and out of his house to read the namaz at some mosques since then; so he is no longer under restraint,” said Mr. Dogar.

The lawyer said he would move the Lahore High Court later this week to quash the two cases filed against Saeed under the Anti-Terrorism Act in Faisalabad city.