Pakistan called out by senior lawyer

Pakistan on Wednesday arrested 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed while he was on his way to Gujranwala from Lahore. He has been sent to jail on judicial remand. He was arrested by Pakistan's Punjab province's Counter-Terrorism Department. Hafiz Saeed is the head of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e- Taiba. It continues to work under the cover of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which claims to be a charitable organisation but is involved in pulling funds for terror activities. 

A spokesman for Punjab Governor Shahbaz Gill said Saeed was arrested near the town of Gujranwala in central Pakistan. "The main charge is that he is gathering funds for banned outfits, which is illegal," the spokesman said.

The arrest of Saeed comes days before Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visits US on a bilateral visit. This is not for the first time he has been arrested. The last time when he was arrested, the Pakistani courts had released him due to lack of evidence. 

Reacting to Hafiz Saeed's arrest, special public prosecutor in the 26/11 case, eminent lawyer Ujjawal Nikam said that Pakistan has to walk the talk on this issue. 

He told ANI, " Pakistan is fooling the world that they have arrested him, we have to see how they produce evidence in courts and how efforts are made to convict him, otherwise it is a drama."

Experts see Saeed's arrest as Pakistan as acting under Financial Action Task Force or FATF's pressure who decided to keep Islamabad on greylist after missing 2 deadlines to meet its anti-terror financing commitments.

Earlier in a land-grabbing case, Pakistan court had granted relief to Hafiz Saeed from being arrested till August 3. But Saeed has been arrested on terror financing case now. 

1. How Case Was Built Against JuD

Earlier this month provincial Punjab govt had slapped terror financing charges against 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his trusts run by him. But India has rejected actions by Islamabad with one Indian govt sources telling WION that "We have seen this 'action' before. Important that it is irreversible and verifiable."

New Delhi has been asked Islamabad to take credible, verifiable, irreversible & sustainable measures on terror groups and financing of terror from any territory under its control.

The four main members of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JUD) who have been mentioned in the cases were-- Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki (brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed), Ameer Hamza & Mohammad Yahya Aziz. 

The main charities listed are--Dawat Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al-Anfaal Trust, Al-Madina Foundation Trust & Al-Hamd Trust who have been operating from major Pakistani cities like Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.

According to Pakistan's Punjab govt officials, "cases reveal that these individuals have been involved in raising funds to facilitate terror activities." and "operating under the umbrella of charities, these organisations have been funnelling funds to terror suspects and promoting terrorism".

2. Pak Earlier Prevented UN Team From Meeting Hafiz Saeed

The Pakistan consulate in New York rejected a United Nations team's request for a visa to interview Hafiz Saeed over his proposal to remove his name from list of UN recognised terrorists. In doing so, the Islamic nation exposed its duplicity to the international community on sponsoring terrorism. The founder of Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa is accepted as the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

3. FATF Deadline Looming For Pakistan

Financial Action Task Force or FATF president Marshall Billingslea has said Pakistan has to do "significant work to meet the obligations they themselves undertook" as part of there high-level commitments and the country is "lacking in almost every respect of action plan."

Following its grey-listing in 2018 Islamabad had made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF to deal with “structural deficiencies” in its anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) or simply put-- acting on the financing of terror.