Lahore: Pakistan on Wednesday said it was not bound to act on the bounties offered by the US for Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and his brother-in-law Abdul Rahman Makkias as the American administration had taken the step on its own.

Pakistan is only bound to implement any resolution or announcement of the United Nations, a law officer of the federal government said in a reply submitted to the Lahore High Court in response to a petition filed by Saeed.

Chief Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, who is hearing the case, had on April 18 issued notices to the federal and Punjab governments to respond to Saeed's petition. The federal government said in its reply it was not bound to act on the bounties offered by the US for Saeed and Makki as the American administration had taken the step on its own.

Pakistan, being a signatory to the Charter of the UN, is bound to act on the resolutions or announcements of the world body, the government said in its response. The federal government further said the issue of providing security to Saeed was a provincial subject.

The law officer of the Punjab government sought more time from the court to submit a reply. Chief Justice Sheikh adjourned the matter till May 7.  In his petition, Saeed had asked the court to direct the government from taking any "adverse action" against him and Makki. He also sought protection from the government in the wake of the US bounty.

The US has offered a 10-million dollar bounty for Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, under its Rewards for Justice programme. It offered a two million dollar bounty for Makki, who is Saeed's deputy in the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

Saeed and Makki had contended that under Articles 4 and 9 of the Pakistani Constitution, they are free citizens and the federal and provincial governments should be stopped from taking any "adverse action" against them on the pressure of the US.

They claimed the government should provide them security after the US announcement as their "lives were not safe". They further asked the court to direct the federal government to ask the US to withdraw the bounties.

(Agencies)