Pakistan arrests militant suspect
August 10, 2006
The Pakistani authorities have placed the former head of an outlawed Islamic militant group under house arrest.
Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, who until five years ago headed the Lashkar-e-Toiba, was detained in Lahore.
He now heads an Islamic charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which has been listed by the US as a terrorist group.
A spokesman for Jamaat-ud-Dawa said police are now at the home of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, and that a rally by the group next week has been cancelled.
Lashkar-e-Toiba is a militant group based in Pakistan that has been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir and has been blamed by India of carrying out several attacks.
The US believes that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity which Mr Saeed now heads, operates as a fundraising operation for Lashkar-e-Toiba, and that both groups maintain close links with militant organisations around the world.
Although Lashkar-e-Toiba is banned in Pakistan, the charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa is not.
India has called for Pakistan to act more forcefully to crack down on militant groups or those funding them in the wake of the Mumbai blasts.
Last month, it postponed the latest round of peace talks with Pakistan, indicating that the climate for dialogue following the Mumbai bombings - in which more than 180 people were killed - would have to improve before the talks could be resumed.
The BBC's Dan Isaacs in Islamabad says the placing of Mr Saeed under house arrest and the banning of its forthcoming rally in Lahore is almost certainly connected to pressure being placed on Islamabad both by India and the United States.
Our correspondent says Pakistan's reluctance to act more forcefully against these groups stems largely from an uncertain balance of power in which President Musharraf has had to reign in the influence of Islamic militant organisations.
He has to be careful not to antagonise the country's military and intelligence services, which have in the past supported Islamic militants fighting to end Indian rule in the disputed region of Kashmir.