ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Thursday accepted an application of Chief of Jamat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Muhammad Saeed for early hearing in a matter of challenging a presidential ordinance through which ban was imposed on the JuD.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition and fixed May 20 as date of hearing in the petition moved by Hafiz Saeed through Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate challenging the ordinance through which ban was imposed on JuD as United Nations has put the organisation on its watch-list.

In his petition, Hafiz Saeed nominated secretaries of law, cabinet and establishment division as respondents.

It was February 12 when President Mamnoon Hussain through an amendment made into the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 had promulgated an ordinance with regard to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Through the ordinance, the JuD and its humanitarian wing Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) were banned across Pakistan and assets of the two said organisations were frozen.

In the said ordinance, its sections 11-B and 11-EE of ATA were amended that are related to proscription of the organisations and listing of individuals. In the amended law organisations and individuals listed under the UNSC Act, 1948, will be included in the first and fourth schedule on organisations and individual basis respectively.

Hafiz Saeed in his petition argued before the court that JuD has no links with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba since it cut all ties with LeT in 2002. It said India had kept maligning the JuD and it was due to Indian pressure that the petitioner Hafiz Saeed was kept under detention in 2009 and 2017.

Pakistan put the JuD on the watch list after the UNSC passed a resolution against the organisation. Hafiz Saeed maintained in the petition that this is against the sovereignty of Pakistan.

He adopted that the sovereignty of Pakistan has been compromised and adding new sections to the ATA is contrary to the fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan and liable to be struck down.

Therefore, he prayed to the court that since the newly-promulgated ordinance is ultra vires to the constitution hence the amendments made in it may be declared as illegal.