New Delhi: Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to judicial custody, ANI reported on Wednesday, quoting Pakistan media.
A leading Pakistan daily said the arrest came when Saeed was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala.
It said that Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had registered 23 cases against Saeed and 12 of his aides for using five trusts to “funnel funds to terror suspects”.
The cases were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan against the leadership of banned outfits JuD, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
This comes at a time when the Imran Khan government is under pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to act against terror outfits and terrorists operating out of the country.
The CTD said that funds collected by Saeed and his accomplices through these trusts were used to finance the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out terror strikes, including the 2008 Mumbai attack in India. More than 165 people were killed in Mumbai terror attacks when ten Pakistani gunmen opened fire at multiple locations in the city.
Saeed is a UN-designated a global terrorist and is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The US has announced a bounty of $10 million for providing evidence leading to his conviction. But he has enjoyed the patronage of the military establishment in Pakistan which has freed Saeed several times earlier after arresting him.
Reacting to the news of Saeed’s arrest, Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, said, “Pakistan is fooling the world that they have arrested him, we have to see how they produce evidence in courts and how efforts are made to convict him, otherwise it is a drama.”