Pakistani court convicts Hafiz Saeed in terror financing case
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has convicted Hafiz Saeed, the de-facto chief of the Lashkar-i-Taiba, the terror network that has spread its tentacles in the sub-continent, particularly in Kashmir where it operates and executes acts of terror under several front names.
Hafiz Saeed, whose anti-India agenda and the acts of terror in Kashmir are well documented since the 1990s, now operates as the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa or JuD — which is apparently a charity organization — was convicted along with two others by an anti-terrorism court on Friday in a case of terror financing.
Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to jail terms in two FIRs registered by the counter-terrorism department of Pakistan. The sentence was in connection with the acquisition of the properties for the charity, but in reality, were used for terror promotion.
In India, Hafiz Saeed is wanted in the 26/11 terror assault in Mumbai but Pakistan has not acted against him despite having been provided with irrefutable evidence.
The sentence against the JuD functionaries in the terror-financing case by the anti-terrorism court, presiding judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar announced the verdict against Prof Malik Zafar Iqbal, Hafiz Abdul Karim Rehman Makki and Hafiz Abdul Salam on Friday at a time when Pakistan is facing a lot of pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — the global terror financing watchdog — to act against terror financers.
Pakistan figures in the grey list and if its conduct is found unsatisfactory as per the requirements of the FATF, it could slip into the black list. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has already voiced these fears after the opposition stalled the passage of two bills in the Senate against money laundering.
Khan had said if Pakistan was blacklisted by the FATF, its economy would collapse.
The case related to the acquisition of properties by the JuD and its subsidiaries, which were used for terror activities.
The prosecution, according to media reports that covered the case, said a property measuring 16 marlas (4,320 yards) in Vehari district in Pakistan’s Punjab was transferred in the name of Al-Hamad Trust, which is a proscribed organisation. “The property,” the media report said, “under the use and possession of the suspects, now convicts being members of the proscribed organisation, which was a subsidiary of Lashkar-i-Taiba, also a proscribed organisation.”