Islamabad, Jul 17 : Weeks after a serious drubbing by multilateral financial watchdog -- Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Wednesday arrested the United Nations (UN) designated terrorist and 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed from Lahore while he was on his way to appear before an anti-terrorist court in Gujranwala.
"Hafiz Saeed was going to Gujranwala this morning to get pre-arrest bail but he was arrested by CTD on his way. The CTD presented him in the Anti Terrorism Court Gujranwala for judicial remand. The ATC sent him to jail," the CTD said in a statement. The arrest comes a day after Pakistan opened its airspace and before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden trip to the White House to repair his country's relationship with the United States.
The CTD will soon submit charges against Saeed, The Express Tribune reported, adding that the CTD has reportedly recorded 23 cases against Saeed and his 12 aides for using trusts as a cover to "funnel funds to terror suspects." The Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) is notably considered to be a political wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, which is accused of the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 which killed over 160 people.
The Imran Khan Government has been under immense pressure from the Multilateral financial watchdog -- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to act against terror outfits and terrorists operating out of Pakistan. On June 22, FATF had expressed its deep concern over non fulfillment of action plan by Pakistan in curbing the menace of counter-terrorist financing. FATF also warned Pakistan of deciding extreme step if it fails to achieve its target by October this year. On July 3, the top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The CTD, which registered the cases in five cities of Punjab, declared that 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, etc. UNI