Who is Hafiz Saeed? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Who is Hafiz Saeed?

AN anti- terrorism court in Pakistan in the mid February 2020 sentenced Hafiz Mohammad Saeed to 11 years in jail for financing terror operations

Pakistan reached on 26 September 2019  to the United Nations Security Council asking to let UN-designated global terrorist Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed use his bank account for personal expenses. The UN committee  allowd Hafiz Saeed to use his bank account for 'basic expenses' to help his family.

Pakistan faced a tough time due to being under ‘grey list’ of FATF and from other international bodies and countries like the United States. The pressure is to curb the financial terrorism and people associated with it. 

Hafiz Saeed is a name of Pakistani Islamist militant, who is a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief of Jamat-Ud-Dawah. He has been known to carry the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks in India.

Hafiz Saeed enjoys a fan following in Pakistan like Zakir Naik in India. Therefore, the democratically elected government of Pakistan remains under tremendous pressure of such elements. Even when global pressure was on the Pakistani government in various form, there was a protest in Pakistan against the arrest of Hafiz Saeed. 

The Mumbai Attack: Hafiz Saeed under scrutiny.

In November 2008, which is known as 26/11, India faced a brutal terrorist attack which killed 164 civilians. India formally submitted a formal request to the U. N. Security Council to put Jamaat- Ud- Dawah(JUD). India wanted Hafiz Saeed to be on the list of individuals and organizations which face sanctions of the United Nations for association with terrorism.

Even though Hafiz Saeed remained in Pakistan yet he played a vital role in the terrorist attack.

On 10 December 2008, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed denied a link between LeT and JuD in an interview with Pakistan's Geo television stating that "no Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba."

On 11 December 2008, Hafiz Muhammed Saeed was again placed under house arrest when the United Nations declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa to be a LeT front.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was held in house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order law, which allows authorities to detain temporarily individuals deemed likely to create disorder, until early June 2009 when the Lahore High Court, deeming the containment to be unconstitutional, ordered Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to be released. India quickly expressed its disappointment with the decision.

 On 6 July 2009, the Pakistani government filed an appeal of the court's decision. Deputy Attorney General Shah Khawar told the Associated Press that "Hafiz Saeed at liberty is a security threat."

On 25 August 2009, Interpol issued a red notice against Hafiz Saeed, along with Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, in response to Indian requests for his extradition
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Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was again placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities in September 2009.

On 12 October 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama'at-ud-Da'wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed: "In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalize the law."

In June 2019, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department said it had launched 23 cases against the 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and 12 aides for using five trusts to collect funds and donations for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Two banned LeT-linked charities, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, were also targeted, according to the Pakistani Authorities.

Pakistan assured that actions were in accordance with U.N. sanctions against individuals and entities.

Why did Pakistan act against Hafiz Saeed?

The crackdown was a direct result of the FATF plenary’s ultimatum to Pakistan to implement all the 27 points of action by October. The plenary met in Orlando, U.S. during June 2019.

The move follows pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which placed Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terrorism financing.

Pakistan was pulled up on four counts, which included “no investigation done by Pakistan against terror funding done by UN-designated terrorists”.

Pakistan was under international attention as per diplomatic source for not freezing weapon stores, ammunition dumps of the terror outfits, lack of implementation of legal provisions for targeted financial sanctions against all UN designated entities and not stopping the sustenance allowance to terrorists given by the Pakistani government.

Bhim _UPI - 526683880@icici

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