Hafiz Saaed convicted ahead of FATF plenary
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Hafiz Saaed convicted ahead of FATF plenary

Agency News

Islamabad, Feb 12 : Just four days ahead of Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) plenary in Paris that would decide Pakistan's fate, a Lahore anti-terrorism court on Wednesday convicted the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saaed to eleven years in jail for his involvement in two terror-financing cases.

The Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief was slapped with a prison sentence of five and a half years and a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case, Dawn reported. The JuD chief was arrested by the Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in July last year, while he was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala. Prior to his arrest, 23 first information reports had been registered against JuD leaders, including Saeed and JuD Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, at CTD police stations in Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad and Sargodha in July 2019.

According to the CTD, the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust and others. These non-profit organisations were banned in April last year as the CTD, during detailed investigations, found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership.

This crackdown on the banned outfit was followed by a warning by FATF last year, wherein the intergovernmental organisation had asked Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror-financing and money laundering. While the meetings were taking place, the Pakistan government had announced a ban on JuD and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF) to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or at least considered them low-risk entities. This year's FATF Plenary and Working Group Meetings are scheduled for Feb 16-21 in Paris. (UNI)

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