Thursday December 07, 2023

CTD arrests Hafiz Saeed in Gujranwala

July 18, 2019

LAHORE/WASHINGTON: In a big move to satisfy the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Counterterrorism Department (CTD) on Wednesday arrested Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) Chief Hafiz Saeed as he reached Gujranwala.

The CTD spokesman confirming the arrest said he had been arrested in a case registered against him in the Police Station CTD Gujranwala. He has been sent to prison on judicial remand. He will face the trial in the ATC Gujranwala. The spokesman said Hafiz Saeed was going to Gujranwala on Wednesday morning to get pre-arrest bail but was arrested on his way. The CTDpresented him before the Anti-Terrorism Court Gujranwala for judicial remand and sent him to jail. The CTD has been directed to complete investigations and submit the charge-sheet to the court in the stipulated time.

The CTD Punjab had launched a crackdown on banned outfits, especially Jamaatud Dawa and its affiliates in the last week of June 2019. On June 30, four Jamaatud Dawa leaders and eight Jaish-e-Muhammad leaders were convicted of terrorism financing in cases registered by the CTD Punjab. Four JD local leaders have been convicted by anti-terrorism courts. They are Asghar AlI (Rawalpindi), Junaid Irshad (Rawalpindi), Ijaz Ahmad (Rawalpindi) and Abdul Khaliq (Rahimyar Khan). They have been awarded prison terms of two years with fines.

As many as six local leaders of the JeM have been prosecuted & convicted by ATCs. They are Iftikhar Ahmad (Gujranwala), Muhammad Ajmal (Gujranwala), Bilal Makki (Gujranwala), Abrar Ahmad (Gujranwala), Irfan Ahmad (Gujranwala), Hafeezullah (Rawalpindi), Mazhar Nawaz (Rawalpindi) and Abdul Latif (Rawalpindi). They have been awarded prison terms of up to 5 years.

Hafiz Saeed of the Jamaatud Dawa and other leaders were booked in cases of terrorism financing. Cases were registered against them in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of trusts/non-profit organisations including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawaatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc. Investigations were launched into financing matters of the Jamaatud Dawa and the Lashkar-e-Taiba in connection with UN sanctions against these designated entities and persons as directed by NSC (National Security Committee) in its meeting of January 1, 2019, chaired by PM Imran Khan for implementing the National Action Plan. On July 1 and 2, the CTD Punjab registered 23 cases against the leadership of the Jamaatud Dawa, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation for making assets from terrorism financing through the following trusts/NPOs: 1- Dawaatul Irshad Trust 2- Muaz Bin Jabal Trust 3- Al-Anfaal Trust 4- Al Hamd Trust 5- Al Madina Foundation Trust.

The JuD and LeT leaders who have been booked include: 1-Hafiz Muhammad Saeed 2-Abdul Rehman Makki 3-Malik Zafar Iqbal 4-Ameer Hamza 5-Muhammad Yahya Aziz 6-Muhammad Naeem Sh 7-Mohsin Bilal 8-Abdul Raqeeb 9-Dr Ahmad Daud 10- Dr Muhammad Ayub 11- Abdullah Ubaid 12-Muhammad Ali 13-Abdul Ghaffar.

The assets/NPOs have already been taken over by the government in compliance with UN sanctions.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump commended the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks, on terror finance charges.

In his tweet President Trump said, “After a ten-year search, the so called “mastermind” of the Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan.” Trump also erroneously portrayed as if the arrest happened after pressure on Pakistani authorities from his administration. His tweet further said: “Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him.”

Pakistan arrested Hafiz Saeed from Lahore. The arrest came days before Prime Minister’s visit to Washington where Imran Khan will be meeting with President Donald Trump.

The US has been for long asking Pakistan to ban and prosecute all terrorist networks and individuals. Pakistan was put on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list as well, recommending Islamabad to take action against terror financing.

Hafiz Saeed is founder of Jamaatud Dawa and Lashkar-e-Toiba, the militant group blamed by the US and India for Mumbai attacks that took place in 2008. The US and even the United Nations has designated the group and its founder as terrorist.