Islamabad, July 3 (IANS) Amid growing world pressure, Pakistan government on Wednesday booked Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, along with three other members of the banned outfit for terror financing and facilitation, according to Pakistani media.
Besides Saeed, those booked by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (PCTD) include his brother-in-law Abdul Rehman Makki, Ameer Hamza and Muhammad Yahya Aziz, the Express News reported.
The PCTD has accused them of ‘promoting terrorism and raising funds to facilitate terror activities’, the media report said.
Saeed is the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai multiple terror attacks in which 166 people, including several foreigners, were killed. Makki was also a key conspirator of that terror attack.
Cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act were also filed against five proscribed outfits in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan – Dawatul Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al Anfaal Trust, Al Madina Foundation Trust and Alhamd Trust.
As per the charges, these proscribed outfits were operating under the guise of charities and were involved in funneling funds to terror suspects, the report said.
The development came amidst growing international pressure and two weeks after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body founded by the G20 countries, slammed Pakistan for failing to do enough to check terror financing and warned of blacklisting the country if it did not comply with the requirements before October.
The FATF has already placed Pakistan in the ‘Grey’ list (watch list) and the country runs the risk of being blacklisted, after which it can be denied aid by international bodies.
The grouping, after three days of deliberations in the US, had said Pakistan, since June last year, made “a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG (Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering) to strengthen its AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies.”
The FATF had said, “Pakistan has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including the recent development of its TF (Terrorist Financing) risk assessment addendum; however, it does not demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risk.”
A statement issued after three-day deliberations of the international watchdog, founded by G-7 (Group of seven industrialized nations) in 1989, said, “The FATF expresses concern that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire. Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress.”