Delhi/Islamabad: Pakistan’s provincial Punjab government has slapped terror financing charges against 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the trusts run by him. The four main members of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) who have been mentioned in the cases are- Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki (brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed), Ameer Hamza and Mohammad Yahya Aziz.
Whereas, the main charities listed are namely Dawat Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al-Anfaal Trust, Al-Madina Foundation Trust & Al-Hamd Trust which have been operating from major Pakistan cities like Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.
According to a Pakistan’s Punjab government official, “(sic) Cases reveal that these individuals have been involved in raising funds to facilitate terror activities and operating under the umbrella of charities, these organisations have been funnelling funds to terror suspects and promoting terrorism”.
These cases have been registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan’s Punjab province. If charges against Hafiz Saeed are proven under Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, then he is likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment.
This development comes days after the Financial Action Task Force or FATF decided to keep Islamabad on its greylist after they missed two deadlines to fulfil their anti-terror financing commitments. Speaking at the end of FATF plenary last month in Florida, president of the counter-terror financing body Marshall Billingslea said, “There is absolutely a possibility that Pakistan could be put on the blacklist” if it fails to fulfil its commitments before the next plenary in October in Paris.
Meanwhile, in a strong snub, India rejected this ‘action’ by Islamabad and maintained, “We have seen this ‘action’ before. Important that it is irreversible and verifiable.” A senior Indian official on conditions of anonymity said, “FATF driven actions needed which are not irreversible. We need to move from ‘filing cases’ to sentencing, arresting and imprisoning.”
New Delhi has now asked Islamabad to take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures against terror groups emanating from its territory.
With inputs from Sidhant Sibal and Anas Mallick