Hafiz Saeed
PC : File Photo

A Pakistan Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on Thursday pronounced ten-and-a-half years imprisonment to 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed in two terror funding related cases.

This is the fourth conviction of Saeed in 2020. Hafiz is currently serving a five-year sentence in another terror financing case in Lahore.

The court also pronounced ten-and-a-half years imprisonment for three other JuD terrorists. Zafar Iqbal and Yahya Mujahid have been sentenced for ten-and-a-half years. Abdul Rehman Makki has been sentenced to six months imprisonment. The conviction is by the anti-terror court in Lahore and it has ordered to confiscate all properties of Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed, an UN-designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was arrested on July 17, 2019, in the terror financing cases and four cases have been decided against him so far. A total of 41 cases have been registered against the leaders of Jamat-ud-Dawa, out of which 24 have been decided while the rest are pending in the ATC courts.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans. The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. 

He was sentenced to 11 years in jail by an anti-terrorism court in February 2020 in two terror financing cases. He is lodged at the Lahore’s high-security Kot Lakhpat jail.

In August, seeking to wriggle out of the FATF’s grey list, Pakistan had imposed tough financial sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim, by ordering the seizure of all of their properties and freezing of bank accounts, as per a media report.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action by the end of 2019, but the deadline was extended later due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The government issued two notifications on August 18 announcing sanctions on key figures of terror outfits such as Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Azhar, and underworld don Ibrahim. Ibrahim, who heads a vast and multifaceted illegal business, has emerged as India’s most wanted terrorist after the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

The Pakistan government had proscribed 88 leaders and members of terrorist groups, in compliance with the new list issued by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently, Pakistani daily The News had reported. The notifications had announced sanctions on key figures of terror outfits such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), JeM, Taliban, Daesh, Haqqani Group, al-Qaeda, and others.

The government ordered the seizure of all movable and immovable properties of these outfits and individuals, and freezing of their bank accounts, the report had said. These terrorists have been barred from transferring money through financial institutions, purchasing of arms and travelling abroad, it had said.