Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has challenged the Pakistan government’s decision to ban media coverage of his outlawed organisations Jammat-ud-Dawah and its front Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation in the Lahore High Court. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority which comes under the Federal Information Ministry on November 2 had asked all broadcasters to refrain from covering 72 banned groups including LeT, JuD and FIF under UN restriction. Saeed through his counsel Advocate A K Dogar filed a petition in the Lahore High Court yesterday, challenging the ban on his organisations.
Justice Aminuddin Khan took up the petition of Saeed and allowed Saeed’s counsel to argue. Advocate Dogar told the court that JuD and FIF were charitable organisations and had “no nexus with the banned Lashkar-i-Taiba”. He said JuD has established 142 schools and four universities in different cities of the country. He said PEMRA had ordered all Pakistani TV channels to ban coverage of JuD and FIF “which is illegal”. “Both organisations of his client (Saeed) are mentioned in the list of proscribed organizations. The JuD and FIF are mentioned in a list circulated by UN but it is clear from the document that they are not the proscribed organisations,” Dogar said. He said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali had made it clear that JuD was not a proscribed organisation. He pleaded the court to set aside the impugned directive of PEMRA for being “unlawful”.
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