Authorities in Pakistan’s Punjab province today launched a probe against Jamaat-ud-Dawah, led by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, for running a parallel judicial system here.
“A team of senior police officers today visited the JuD headquarters at Jamia Qadsia, Chauburji and discussed the matter with the high command of Dawah,” a source in Punjab police told PTI.
“The police team will send its findings to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah over the matter after recording the statements of some people who sought justice from the JuD courts,” the source said.
He said the police team also discussed the matter of Khalid Saeed, who was summoned by a Sharia Court of JuD in a monetary case. Saeed had also complained to the police that he was threatened by the JUD court to appear before it or face serious consequences.
The JuD office-bearers told the police team that it had established “the Arbitrary Council presided over by Ulema (clerics) merely to provide arbitration services to consenting parties in the light of Quran and Sunnah (Prophet’s teachings)”.
The JuD said it is not parallel court and does not issue any kind of summons or seek money for arbitration.
On the other hand, Sanaullah said the government would not allow anyone to run a parallel judicial system in Punjab.
“We will take appropriate action (against the JuD) if it is found running a parallel judicial system in Lahore,” he said, adding FIR would be registered against those involved in it.
On the lines of the Taliban, Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD has recently set up a ‘Sharia Court’ here to hand out “easy and swift justice”, the first such parallel judicial system in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
Earlier, the Sharia courts were established in Kyber Pakhtaunkhawa province by pro-Taliban groups.
Meanwhile, Dawn Newspaper in its editorial today said “a broken judicial system is always likely to attract novel, even unconstitutional, quasi-fixes. With the superior judiciary and the legislative seemingly in denial about the need for root-and-branch overhaul of the judicial system, both state and society are finding alternatives that include parallel ‘judicial’ forums”.
JuD has established fledgling ‘courts’ in its headquarters in Lahore, from where summonses are being sent to citizens by self-appointed judges and their assistants. Of course, because this is JuD and perhaps because it is easier to do, the self-styled courts are operating under a religious veneer.
The paper suggests that the JuD experiment needs to be shut down immediately, with no caveats and no possibility of quiet resurrection once the furore dies down.
“In a preposterous world where such obvious principles need to be explained, it is easy enough to offer a straightforward refutation of the JuD’s official defence/explanation.