Pakistan bans film on Mumbai attacks after accused mastermind protests

Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:54pm EDT
 
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By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani court on Thursday banned an Indian film about the 2008 Mumbai attacks in response to a petition filed by the man New Delhi accuses of masterminding the killing of 166 people over three days.

Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba which the United Nations has listed as a terrorist organization, petitioned the court to ban the Kabir Khan-directed feature film "Phantom" on the basis that it maligns Pakistan and vilifies Saeed and his current organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

The Lahore High Court issued a ban on Thursday, Saeed's lawyer said.

"The government has been told that the film should not be presented for showing in Pakistan and to take necessary steps in this regard," lawyer AK Dogar told Reuters.

In its reply to the petition in court, the Pakistani government "vehemently denied" that there were ever any plans to screen the Indian film.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is banned in Pakistan but tolerated unofficially. Saeed has long abandoned its leadership and is now the head of its charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

India says it has handed over evidence against him to Pakistan which should have detained him. The issue has stood in the way of rebuilding relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

The United States has also offered $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks.   Continued...

 
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of the Jamat-ud-Dawa religious party, addresses the Harmain Sharifain Conference in support of the Saudi Arabian government in Peshawar April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz