Lahore: A Pakistani court has adjourned till December 31 the hearing of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed's petition seeking help from the government to defend himself in a US lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Mumbai attacks.

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday adjourned the matter as the amicus curiae (friend of the court), lawyer Ahmar Bilal Soofi, was out of Pakistan and could not attend the hearing. At the last hearing, the court had sought a response to Saeed's petition from the Defence Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry informed the High Court last year that it would only defend the incumbent and former ISI chiefs in the US lawsuit and that it would not extend legal aid to Saeed, who now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

The US court had issued summons to Saeed, the current and former chiefs of the ISI and other Pakistani officials in connection with the lawsuit filed by relatives of two Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The relatives have filed nine claims seeking a total of USD 675,000 against Saeed, LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, former ISI chiefs Nadeem Taj and Ahmed Shuja Pasha and others.

Saeed has claimed in his petition in the Lahore High Court that he is the head of a "charity organisation" and had no links with the LeT. Earlier this year, the US offered a USD 10 million reward for Saeed.


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