Taliban may target Hafiz Saeed: Report

Pakistani authorities have directed police to step up security of JuD chief.

Updated: May 20, 2010, 15:02 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistani authorities have directed police to step up security of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding the Mumbai attacks, followings reports that a group of Taliban militants might target him.

The interior department of Punjab province has issued a circular to police that there is a "potential" threat to the life of Saeed and his security should be enhanced.

Lahore`s acting police chief SSP Shafiq Ahmed said that there is a security threat to Saeed and police had received instructions from the provincial government to beef up his security.

"Following the instruction, we have deployed more policemen at his residence in Johar Town and the JuD mosque in Chauburji. We have also improved his escort during his movements," Ahmed said.

There were reports that Saeed had received threats from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan but Ahmed and JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid did not confirm this.

"There has been no threat to Hafiz sahib`s life from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.”

“We have not received any threat from the Taliban," Mujahid said.

According to an Urdu newspaper, Saeed recently received threats from an "anti-Pakistan group operating in the tribal areas" bordering Afghanistan.

"The Taliban is against Saeed because he had issued a fatwa (edict) against suicide bombings," the daily reported. Saeed, who is also the founder of the Lashker-e-Toiba, was briefly put under house arrest in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court last year. Pakistani officials have said India has not provided any information that would allow them to take action against Saeed.