Pakistan treats Hafiz Seed as VIP, seen roaming in SUV: Sources

Islamabad: Pakistan is still providing preferential treatment to Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed despite his sentencing in two terror-financing cases.

A Lahore anti-terrorism court sentenced Hafiz Saeed to 10-year imprisonment in two terror-financing cases.

According to sources, the Counter-Terrorism Department officials are treating Hafiz Saeed as a VIP.

Saeed is still roaming in his SUV escorted by his aides, they said.

He was slapped with a prison sentence of five-and-a-half years and a fine of Rs15,000 in each case. The sentences of both cases will run concurrently. The court also granted him the benefit of Section 382-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure (reduction of period of sentence of imprisonment). Malik Zafar Iqbal, the secretary of Al-Anfaal Trust, has also been convicted in the same cases and has been awarded similar punishment, the Dawn reported.

They were convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act Section 11-F(2) — pertaining to membership, support and meetings relating to a proscribed organisation — and 11-N (punishment under Sections 11-H to 11-K).

Section 11H relates to fundraising for the purpose of terrorism, 11-I is about the use and possession of money or other property for terrorism, 11-J relates to funding arrangements which result in money being made available for terrorism, while 11-K relates to money laundering.

The court also ordered that Saeed’s properties be confiscated.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief was arrested on July 17, 2019, at the Kamoke toll plaza, about 50 km north of Lahore. The US has placed a USD10 million bounty on the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed.The court has ordered their properties to be seized.

The counter-terrorism department has registered 41 cases against the JuD leaders.

Back in July, the top 13 members of the JuD, including Saeed, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

Subsequently, Saeed was arrested from Gujranwala on charges of terror financing by the Punjab Counterterrorism Department (CTD).