‘Let Us Not Get Fooled,’ Says India on Pak Booking Hafiz Saeed
The proscribed outfits were operating under the guise of charities and were involved in funding terror suspects.
A day after Pakistani authorities booked Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed on charges of terror financing, India’s sharp reaction to the development implies that Pakistan needs to do more to show their ‘sincerity’ against terror.
The Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in a briefing on Thursday, 4 July, said, “Let us not get fooled by such cosmetic steps. Pakistan’s sincerity to take action against terrorists and terror groups will be judged on the basis of their ability to demonstrate verifiable, credible and irreversible action against terror groups operating from their soil and not on the basis of half-hearted measures which they undertake some times to hoodwink the international community.”
“We want a normal relationship in an environment free from terror,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Punjab police of Pakistan said that Saeed and his aides will be arrested “very soon”. On Wednesday, 3 July, Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) booked them on multiple charges of terror financing.
“First, the FIR is registered against a suspect and then he is arrested. Saeed and others nominated in the FIRs will also be arrested subsequently.”Niyab Haider Naqvi, Punjab Police Spokesperson
The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets made in names of non-profit organisations, including Al-Anfal Trust, Dawat ul Irshad Trust, etc.
“They made these assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. They will be prosecuted in Anti Terrorism Courts for commission of these offences,” CTD said in a statement.
However, government sources on Thursday said that it is important that the action taken is irreversible and verifiable.
“We have seen this ‘action’ before. It is important that the action is irreversible and verifiable,” ANI reported, quoting government sources.
This move comes in the midst of growing global pressure on Islamabad to act against militant groups which are launching deadly attacks in India, PTI reported.
‘Police Await Green Signal to Raid Saeed’s Residence’
A source in the Imran Khan government told PTI that the Punjab police (Pakistan) are waiting for a go-ahead sign from the 'top' to lay their hands on Saeed.
“Saeed is present at his residence in Lahore’s Jauhar Town and the police are waiting for a green signal from the government to raid his residence to arrest him,” the source said.
The source further said it is likely that Saeed may be arrested this week as the Imran Khan government appears keen to fulfil its obligations against terror financing under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Cases were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act against five proscribed outfits in Lahore, Gujranwala, and Multan – Dawatul Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al Anfal Trust, Al Madina Foundation Trust, and Al Hamd Trust.
In a statement, Pakistan’s counter terrorism department said that LeT-linked charities, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), were also targeted.
Officials have told media that the assets of these organisations and individuals will be frozen and taken over by the state.
The Hafiz Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that killed scores of people. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
This comes after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), on Friday, 21 June, had warned Pakistan that if it fails to complete its action plan on terror financing, the country will face action, which could possibly lead to the country’s blacklisting.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had then urged Pakistan to comply with the FATF warning, however Pakistan had accused India of using the warning for its own “narrow, partisan objectives” against it.
Earlier in March, the United Nations had rejected Saeed’s appeal to remove his name from its list of banned terrorists.
Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD), was banned on 10 December 2008 by the United Nations Security Council after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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