Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was on Thursday sentenced to 10 years in jail by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in two more terror cases.
Saeed, a UN designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was arrested on July 17 last year in the terror financing cases. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail by an anti-terrorism court in February this year in two terror financing cases.
He is lodged at the Lahore’s high-security Kot Lakhpat jail. “The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Lahore on Thursday sentenced four leaders of Jamat-ud-Dawa, including its chief Hafiz Saeed, in two more cases,” a court official told PTI. Saeed and his two close aides – Zafar Iqbal and Yahya Mujahid – have been sentenced to 10 and a half years each, while JuD chief’s brother-in-law Abdul Rehman Makki was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
“Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta of ATC Court No. 1 heard the case No. 16/19 and 25/19 filed by Counter Terrorism Department in which the verdict has been announced after the statements of witnesses were cross-examined by Naseeruddin Nayyar and Mohammad Imran Fazal Gul Advocate,” the official said.
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and using its territory to carry out attacks in India.
Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department had filed 41 cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa leaders and four cases against Hafiz Saeed have been decided so far. The rest are pending in several anti-terrorism courts across Pakistan.
India has for long been asking international agencies and friendly nations to apply pressure on Pakistan to make it stop sheltering terrorists on its soil. India gave proof to the Paris-headquartered FATF through several dossiers last year about how Pakistani agencies are funding the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed that was responsible for a car bomb attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in February 2019.
A total of 41 cases have been registered by the CTD against the JuD leaders, out of which 24 have been decided while the rest are pending in the ATC courts. Four cases have been decided against Saeed so far.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Since then Pakistan has been facing possible blacklisting by the FATF, which could lead to downgrading of the country by lenders like International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and European Union.
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