Hafiz Saeed not allowed to lead Eid prayers at his 'favourite' venue in Lahore

For the first time in years, Mumbai attack mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was not allowed by the government on Wednesday to lead Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at his favourite venue Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore, an official said.

Instead, Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation JuD, offered prayers at a local mosque adjacent to his Jauhar Town residence in Lahore.

"JuD chief Saeed wanted to lead the Eid prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium but he was conveyed by an official of the Punjab government a day before (Tuesday) that he could not do so. In case, he goes ahead with his plan (to lead the Eid prayers) the government may arrest him, the official privy to the development told.

He said Saeed having no other option "followed the government direction" and dropped the idea of leading the prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium.

Saeed had been leading the prayers on both Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Azha at the Qaddafi Stadium for last many years without any hindrance.

Rather, the government used to provide him foolproof security.

In the past, Saeed not only led the prayers but also propagated his views especially on Kashmir before a large gathering of people assembled on such religious festivals.

(with news agency inputs)