A day after Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was held guilty and sentenced to prison for five and a half years in two terror-financing cases by a Pakistan court, India on Thursday questioned the “efficacy” of the conviction. Adding that taking action against terrorism is a part of “Pakistan’s long-pending international obligation,” India said that it would keep a watch if the neighboring country would take action against other terror entities operating on its soil.
Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, was also slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 in two cases of terror-financing. The sentences of both cases will run concurrently.
The conviction came a day ahead of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting. The FATF is a global watchdog against terror funding that has Pakistan to fully implement its anti-terror action plan by February 2020 or face severe action. Pakistan was already kept under the “grey list” of countries by the FATF for failing to contain terror financing.
“We have seen media reports that a court in Pakistan has sentenced UN-designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed in terror financing case. It is part of a long-pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism,” government sources said. Saeed’s conviction is seen in New Delhi as a move to impress the FATF before a crucial session.”The decision (by Pakistan) has been made on the eve of the FATF plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, the US has welcomed the Pakistan court’s verdict The conviction “is an important step forward — both toward holding LeT accountable for its crimes, and for Pakistan in meeting its international commitments to combat terrorist financing,” tweeted Alice Wells, the top US diplomat for South Asia.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US named Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice. He was listed as a terrorist under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
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