Hafiz Saeed Denies Reports of JuD Running ‘Sharia Court’ in Lahore
Hafiz  Saeed, Chief of  Jamaat-ud-Dawah. (Photo: Reuters)
Hafiz Saeed, Chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah. (Photo: Reuters)

Hafiz Saeed Denies Reports of JuD Running ‘Sharia Court’ in Lahore

Outlawed Pakistan political party Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has said that his party is opposed to any state within the state or parallel governance system in Pakistan. He added that the ‘summons’ and reports of a running Sharia court in Lahore are part of a planned conspiracy.

In an interview with The New International, he said that media houses Jang and Geo undertake responsible journalism and:

I invite them to visit Masjid Qadsiya in Lahore to see for themselves if there is any court working there or only an arbitration council.

According to news reports, Mumbai attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawah, had set up a ‘Sharia Court’ to hand out “easy and swift justice,”; the first such parallel judicial system in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

The court’s headquarters are in Jamia Qadsia, Chauburji, under a Qazi (judge) who is assisted by Khadmins (court associates) to decide complaints. Darul Qaza Sharia is a parallel private judicial system that has been set up by the group in Lahore to provide easy justice to the people and deals mostly in civil cases relating to property and monetary disputes.

The complaints are addressed to Saeed who later refers them to the Qazi for further proceedings.

According to ‘JuD summons,’ it has been dispensing private justice through the court for the last couple of months.

The ‘summons’, bearing monograms of Darul Qaza Sharia, Jamat-ud-Dawah, Pakistan, and ‘Saalsi Sharai Adalat-i-Aalia’ (Arbitration Court of Sharia), orders a man named Khalid to appear before the ‘court’ at the Jamia Qadsia Chauburji to ‘record his statement’ in a complaint against him.

He is warned of strict action under the Sharia laws in case of no response from his side. The organisation’s ‘Arbitration Court of Sharia’ has been taking up complaints of citizens approaching it for justice and summoning the ‘defendants’ in person or through a legal counsel with warnings of strict action under the Sharia laws in case of no response.

Saeed said that the person mentioned on the summons is a property dealer who levelled allegations against the party. He called him a fraud and a liar and said that the man owes crores of rupees to various people and that he fabricated the summons to defame the JuD.

JuD spokesperson Yahya Mujahid defended the establishment of the ‘Sharia Court’.

Sharia Court is not a parallel system to the constitutional courts of the country. It is an arbitration court, which decides disputes with the consent of the parties.
Yahya Mujahid told Dawn News

Mujahid said disputes have been resolved in accordance with Islamic laws and that offering arbitration to confronting parties is not illegal.

However, he could not justify issuance of summons carrying a “warning of strict action” in case of non-compliance.

This is the first Sharia court ever established in Punjab province. Earlier, the Sharia courts were established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by pro-Taliban groups.

The Punjab government of Shahbaz Sharif is aware of this but it has deliberately turned a blind eye to it because it is not willing to lay a hand on the JuD.
Source in the Punjab government

(With PTI inputs.)