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Pakistani Authorities Open Probe Into Alleged Islamic Court

Pakistani head of the banned organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Saeed addresses a gathering during a protest rally in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, on February 3.

Authorities in Pakistan have opened a probe into reports that a charity run by the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba has set up an Islamic court in the eastern city of Lahore.

A spokesman for Punjab Province confirmed on April 7 that an investigation had been launched into the allegations.

A spokesman for the charity known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa denied the court was a parallel judicial system, saying it worked as an arbitration service between rival parties to settle disputes.

He said religious scholars, guided by Islamic Shari'a law, make the decisions.

Legal experts say such a Taliban-style system is illegal and unconstitutional.

The practice of Shari'a law as advocated by the Taliban is rare in Pakistan's heartland, but arbitration services of the kind described by Jamaat-ud-Dawa are common.

Based on reporting by AP