An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan’s Gujranwala city on Wednesday extended the judicial remand of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed for 14 more days, Dawn reported. Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, was arrested while he was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala on July 17.
Special Anti-Terrorism Court judge Syed Ali Imran directed the Counter Terrorism Department to file a formal chargesheet against Saeed on August 7, and told officials to present him in the court that day.
The JuD chief was arrested on terror financing charges. On July 17, immediately after his arrest, he was produced before the Anti-Terrorism Court in Gujranwala, which sent him to judicial remand for seven days. He was moved to Lahore’s high-security Kot Lakhpat jail, where former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also lodged.
On July 3, the Counter-Terrorism Department had registered 23 cases against Saeed and 12 accomplices for using five trusts to “funnel funds to terror suspects”. 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, Pakistan had added Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation to its list of proscribed organisations.
Saeed’s arrest came ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the United States. American President Donald Trump had hailed the arrest, saying that “great pressure” was exerted over Pakistan to find the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
But, Ujjwal Nikam, India’s special public prosecutor in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, had called Saeed’s arrest “a drama”. “Pakistan is fooling the world that they have arrested him, we have to see how they produce evidence in courts and how efforts are made to convict him, otherwise it is a drama,” he had said.