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  World   Asia  17 Jul 2019  Relentless international pressure forces Pakistan to arrest Hafiz Saeed

Relentless international pressure forces Pakistan to arrest Hafiz Saeed

THE ASIAN AGE. | AISHWARYA SHUKLA
Published : Jul 17, 2019, 4:54 pm IST
Updated : Jul 17, 2019, 5:20 pm IST

Acting on India's insistence, the UN declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa as the funding arm of the LeT in December 2008.

Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was first arrested in 2001 after India accused him of his role in the Parliament attack. (Photo: File)
 Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was first arrested in 2001 after India accused him of his role in the Parliament attack. (Photo: File)

Islamabad: For decades, several countries – especially India – and global organisations have been on Pakistan’s case for nurturing and protecting global terrorist Hafiz Saeed in its backyard.

Pakistan arrested him on Wednesday after nations got more and more belligerent asking for action against a man who had masterminded the 2008 coordinated attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, that killed nearly 200 people.

 

India has suffered most in the hands of Hafiz Saeed as it holds him responsible for three attacks in the country – Parliament attack in 2001, 2006 local train bombings in Mumbai and the 2008 terror attacks in the same city.

The United States has kept up a stringent voice against Hafiz Saeed in the last decade, calling on Pakistan to take action. Its suspicion of Pakistan’s reluctance to act against terrorists was established when the Navy Seals ferreted out and shot dead 7/11 accused Osama Bin Laden on the country’s soil.

But for Saeed, his relationship with the US and started on a nice note. In 2013, he had told the Muslim Times that he quite liked his 1994 trip to the country to speak at Islamic Centres in Houston, Chicago and Boston.

 

Eighteen years after his visit, the country called him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and announced a bounty of US$10 million on him in April 2012, for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 174 lives were lost. Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was first arrested in 2001 after India accused him of his role in the Parliament attack.

Saeed was rigorously followed by the international community after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. India made a formal request to the United Nations Security Council to include JuD and Saeed as sanctioned by the United Nations for association with terrorism.

 

Acting on India's insistence, the UN declared JuD as the funding arm of the LeT in December 2008. After this, Saeed was put under house arrest but released after the orders of the Lahore High Court.

International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) issued a red corner notice against Saeed and Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi after India sought their extradition.

In 2014, the US kept LeT’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and added JuD to the list.

After the US announced bounty on him, Saeed held a press conference in Pakistan and absolved himself from his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, He also said the USA knew his location and he was willing to face any American court.

 

US President Donald Trump has time and again criticised the role of Pakistan in backing the terror groups. Ever since Trump has occupied the White House, he has expressed disappointment over the handling of terror issue by Pakistan.

In January 2017, the Trump administration threatened to put Pakistan on the list of nations against whom an immigration ban is imposed because their citizens are seen as a threat. Saeed was put under house arrest by Pakistani authorities.

In September 2017, Pakistan banned Saeed’s new terror front Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir (TAJK). The new front was floated as JuD was earlier put on the list of proscribed organisations.

 

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif acknowledged that Hafiz Saeed, the Haqqanis and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are “liabilities” for the country, but Pakistan did not have the required “assets” to get rid of them.

In February 2019, the USA, the UK and France expressed concerns on Pakistan’s inactions against terror groups. Pakistan defended its stand by stating that they have seized over 700 properties attached to terror organizations.

In February 2019, JuD was banned in Pakistan. The move came amid mounting global pressure to act against the terrorist outfits operating from its soil and areas under its occupation.

The USA, the UK and France, however, again shared their concerns in May 2019 in Guangzhou, China.

 

This was again brought up in June 2019, when Financial Action Task Force (FATF) voiced concern over Pakistan's failure to do enough to contain terror funding in its soil and not registering cases against terror masterminds Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar under anti-terror laws.

In May 2019, India managed to get Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist.

Tags: hafiz saeed, jamaat-ud-dawa, lashkar-e-taiba, pakistan
Location: Pakistan, Islamabad, Islamabad