ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Friday issued notices to secretaries of law, Cabinet Division and Establishment Division after chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Saeed, challenged a presidential ordinance through which ban was imposed on the JuD.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq issued the notices in a petition moved by Hafiz Saeed through Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate challenging the ordinance through which ban was imposed on the JuD as the United Nations has put the organisation on a watch-list.

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 organizations were frozen.

In the said ordinance, its sections 11-B and 11-EE of the ATA were amended that were 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 the JuD had no links with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) since the JuD cut all ties with the LeT in 2002. And neighbouring India 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 JuD on watch list after the UNSC passed a resolution against the organisation. Hafiz Saeed maintained in the petition that this was against the sovereignty of Pakistan. He adopted that the sovereignty of Pakistan had been compromised.

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 illegal.

The IHC bench issued notices to the respondents and adjourned hearing in the matter for two weeks.