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Hafiz Saeed’s arrest is long-pending international obligation of Islamabad: govt. official

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed being produced at a court in Lahore. File photo

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed being produced at a court in Lahore. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

It has to be also seen whether Pakistan will take action against all other terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control, he says

The arrest of terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed by Pakistan is part of Islamabad’s long-pending international obligation, a government source said. The statement indicates that South Block would prefer Pakistan to take more verifiable actions against terror outfits and individuals.

“The decision has been made on the eve of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen,” said a source indicating that a Lahore anti-terrorism court’s decision has to be viewed in the context of the Paris meeting of the FATF that will begin on February 16.

Also read | Black and grey: On terror funding and Pakistan

In the last meeting of the FATF in November 2019, Pakistan was warned that it would remain on the ‘Grey’ list if tough actions were not initiated against terror outfits and terror financing individuals in the country.

The official maintained that India expects Pakistan to take similar actions consistently. Saeed who received a five-and-a-half years sentence for being part of a terror outfit has been asked by the anti-terror court to pay ₹15,000. The FIR against him was registered in July 2019 on charges of terror financing at the Counter Terrorism Department in Gujranwala. The court also handed the same sentence to Zafar Iqbal, a close aide of Saeed.

“It has to be also seen whether Pakistan would take action against all other terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control, and bring perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks, including in Mumbai (2008) and Pathankot (2016) to justice expeditiously,” said the official.

India considers Saeed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks that claimed lives of at least 166 people and injured many others. The Pathankot airbase attack of January 2016 scuttled the last peace initiative that was attempted by the two sides.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 11:02:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hafiz-saeeds-arrest-is-long-pending-international-obligation-of-islamabad-govt-official/article30807609.ece

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