Islamabad: Pakistan turned down the visa request of a UN team which wanted to interview Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on his application for removing his name from the UNSC sanctions list, according to UN sources.

Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack in which 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed 166 people. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017.

A representative from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN informed the UN Ombudsperson in October last year that no visa would be issued for their travel to Pakistan, UN sources told PTI.

The UN Ombudsperson reviews requests from UN designated individuals and entities to be removed from the UN Sanctions Committee listing.

Sources said the Pakistani representative had sought that the visit be postponed till the beginning of 2019 but the Ombudsperson had made it clear that such an extension for the travel could not be given due relevant UNSC provisions.

The UN has rejected an appeal of Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, to remove his name from its list of banned terrorists, they said.

Notably, the decision comes at a time when UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to designate Jaish-e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based JeM has claimed responsibility for the strike.

The UN decision to reject appeal of Saeed, also the LeT founder, came after India provided detailed evidence including “highly confidential information” about his activities, sources told PTI.

They said that the verdict of the global body was conveyed to Saeed’s lawyer earlier this week.