New Delhi: India on Thursday made it clear it was unimpressed with the conviction of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed by Pakistani court on Wednesday, with government sources saying “the efficacy of this remains to be seen”, given that it comes just ahead of global anti-terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) plenary meeting in Paris on February 16.
The United States meanwhile welcomed the conviction of Saeed. All eyes are now on the FATF meet to see if Pakistan extricates itself out of the FATF’s “greylist” in which it is in currently. Earlier, Pakistan was in danger of falling into the FATF’s blacklist but that appears extremely unlikely now.
Indian government sources on Thursday said, “We have seen media reports that a court in Pakistan has sentenced UN-designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed in a terror financing case. It is part of a long pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism. The decision has been made on the eve of FATF plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen. It has to also be seen whether Pakistan would take action against other terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control, and bring perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks, including in Mumbai and Pathankot to justice expeditiously.”
In its reaction meanwhile, the United States was quoted by news agency reports from Washington, as stating, “Today’s conviction of Hafiz Saeed and his associate is an important step forward both towards holding (terror outfit) LeT accountable for its crimes, and for Pakistan in meeting its international commitments to combat terrorist financing.”
As reported from Lahore on Wednesday, an anti-terrorism court had convicted Hafiz Saeed on terrorism-related charges and sentenced him to five and a half years in prison. In the court in Lahore, Saeed was found guilty of having links with terrorist groups, raising funds for terrorism and having illegal property.
It may be recalled that last month, French diplomatic sources had said that France —- the host of the forthcoming FATF plenary meet —- is “determined to continue combating money laundering and terror financing, and will objectively evaluate, without any concession, Pakistan’s actions” regarding Islamabad’s obligations mandated by the FATF.