In what could be the first official admission by the Pakistan government that Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed is involved in terrorist activities - he is named by India as the 26/11 mastermind - its interior ministry told a judicial board that Saeed and his aides were spreading terrorism in the name of jihad.
For years, Hafiz Saeed has been running free in Pakistan despite India presenting proof of his involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, in which 166 people were killed.
The Federal Review Board on Saturday directed the federal government to submit written reasons, if any, for keeping Jamatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed and his five aides as house arrest.
The police also produced the JuD chief before the board under high security arrangements.
Saeed told the board that he had been cleared of terrorism charges by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2009.
Saeed said, "The allegations levelled by the government against me had never been proved by any state institution". Hafiz Saeed also appealed to the board to set aside the Punjab government's detention order. As per Indian authorities, Saeed was instructing the terrorists to conduct the attacks. "My organisation and I have been victimised for raising voice for freedom of Kashmir and criticising the government's weak policy on the Kashmir issue". The Pakistan government on Saturday admitted that the "government detained the JuD leaders on pressure of United Nations and worldwide organisations".
Hafiz Saeed and his aides had challenged their detention and subsequent extension for another 90 days detention on April 30.
The government has also placed JuD and FIF under second schedule of the anti-terrorism act.
Over the weekend, the Federal Review Board (FRB) had adjourned till May 15 the hearing of the house arrest case of Hafiz Saeed.
The Nawaz Sharif government had reportedly taken action against Saeed after the United States clearly told Islamabad that it may face sanctions otherwise.
The board observed that it should not be told that he was detained over pressure of worldwide organisations "because we have to decide the matter under the law".
JuD is said to be the front for the banned Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT).
Saeed also claimed that he and his associates were detained just to please the United States, India and other global organizations. The board also gave time to Hafiz Saeed for his defence.