Firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed, who heads the United Nations -listed terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and has a $10 million USA bounty on his head, will be freed tomorrow after less than a year in detention following the decision by the Lahore High Court, a Dawa official said. Reacting to the Pakistani judicial body's order, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We have read reports on the release of internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed from house arrest by Pakistan".
Saeed ran the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organization, widely believed to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, which India believes was behind the deadly attack in Mumbai.
A Judicial Review Board of Pakistan's Punjab province on Wednesday had issued orders to release Saeed, who had been under house arrest since January this year.
Punjab Assistant Advocate General Sattar Sahil said the government law officer had presented "some important evidence" to justify Saeed's detention, but all three members of the board unanimously rejected it and ordered his release.
Hafiz Saeed has been under house arrest since January this year and was detained after enormous pressure on the federal government by the United States (USA) and severe reservations by India. "I don't care", Saeed said trigerring a huge applause from the gathering.
Pakistan has been detaining and freeing Saeed off and on since the attack and he and four of his aides were put under house arrest in Lahore in January.
In 2006, the Pakistani government held him for several months for activities "detrimental" to its relations with other governments.
Police guards have been removed from his residence where a large number of supporters gathered to celebrate the end of his house arrest.
Pakistan often says India is violating human rights in Kashmir, where security forces have killed or wounded dozens of protesters at anti-India rallies in recent months.
Saeed after being freed promised that he would fight for the cause of Kashmir.
Since the 2008 massacre, Indian politicians have been demanding that Pakistan extradite Saeed to stand trial in India, but there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Saeed is known for publicly supporting militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and is claimed by both.
The LeT chief had been produced before the review board by Pakistan's Punjab government on 21 November.
India considers Saeed one of its most wanted terrorists because of his involvement in the Mumbai attack, as well as a 2006 Mumbai train bombing and a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.
The board refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeeds aides.