Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed among Jamaat-ud-Dawa leaders booked in terror financing cases
Last month, the Financial Action Task Force had warned Pakistan that it could be blacklisted for not doing enough to curb terror financing.
Pakistan on Wednesday filed 23 cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and 12 senior leaders of the group, and five proscribed outfits functioning as charity organisations, Dawn reported. Saeed is the alleged mastermind of the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
The action came more than a week after the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog, warned the country that it could be put on its blacklist for not meeting the deadline to implement an action plan to curb terror financing.
The Counter Terrorism Department filed the cases in five cities of Punjab province. It alleged that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa was financing terrorism from funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts such as Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be a front for the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. In March, Islamabad had added Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation to its list of proscribed organisations.
“Formal investigations on a large scale have been launched against the top leadership of the JuD for terror financing after the registration of FIRs against them during the last two days,” said a spokesperson for the Counter Terrorism Department.
According to The Express Tribune, some of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa leaders charged by investigators are Saeed’s brother-in-law Abdul Rehman Makki, Lashkar-e-Taiba co-founder Ameer Hamza and Muhammad Yahya Aziz, who heads Lashkar’s media department.
At the plenary session of the Financial Action Task Force on June 21, the organisation’s outgoing President Marshall Billingslea warned Pakistan that if it fails to implement a 26-point action plan suggested by the watchdog to curb terror financing, it will face punitive measures. Being on a blacklist of the international task force has the potential to severely cripple and isolate a country financially, and this can lead to a downgraded credit rating and denial of loans and developmental assistance.