LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore granted pre-arrest, interim bail to Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the leader of the Jamatud Dawa (JuD) along with four others on Monday. The four included Saeed, Ameer Hamza, Hafiz Masood and Malik Zafar.The bail has been granted to them till August 31st, with surety bonds of Rs. 50,000 each. The case surrounding them was the illegal use of land to establish their own institution. The Lahore High Court issued a notice to the Punjab and federal governments along with the Counter-terrorism Department (CTD) bringing to light a petition signed by the JuD, including Saeed and seven others, against a case with a charge of terror financing lodged by the CTD. Lawyer A.K. Dogar represented Saeed and his accomplices in the proceedings of the court.However, a lawyer representing the federal government argued that the petition was not capable of being maintained. A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court led by Justice Waheed Khan and Justice Shehram Chaudhry proceeded to request the parties to submit their replies within two weeks. They dismissed the government’s objection and adjourned the session till July 30. Other petitioners who were present included Zafar Iqbal, M. Ayub Sheikh, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Abdul Salam, Syed Luqman Ali Shah, Abdul Qudoos Shahid, and Abdul Ghaffar.Thirteen leaders of the JuD, Naib Emir Makki and Saeed himself, were accused of involvement in about two dozen cases of money laundering and terror financing. They were held under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 on July 3. The JuD issued a joint petition earlier in July which stated that the facts in the FIR against them were incorrect, referring to these individuals as members of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and accusing them of terror financing.Similarly, it stated that Saeed previously headed the LeT and had left his position in 2001 although the party was banned in January 2004. However, it had been pointed out in a judgement issued by the High Court that the petitioners were in fact not members of the LeT.The lawyer disapproved of the claim issued in the past two judgments, asking the court to disregard the FIR filed by the CTD, deeming it illegal.In the petition submitted by the Lahore High Court, the federal government through the interior ministry, Punjab government through its home department, and the Station House Officer (SHO) of the CTD regional headquarters in Lahore, were made a part of the petition.