Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a UN-designated Pakistani terrorist whom the US has placed a $10 million bounty on, challenged his arrest in the terror financing cases in the Lahore High Court on Tuesday.
In a fresh petition, Saeed and 67 other leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF), challeneged the FIRs of terror financing against them in the Lahore High Court through their counsels, Advocate AK Dogar, Ahmad Abudullah Dogar and Ghulam Yasin Bhatti.
The petitioners have made the interior ministry, the Punjab home department and the counter- terrorism department of the Punjab Police respondents in the case. The court will fix the hearing of this case later.
Saeed was arrested on 17 July in a terror financing case and the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Gujrat (some 200-kilometres from Lahore) will take it up on 2 September. He is being held at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in high security.
The petitioners said that the JuD chief and others (67) are not members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) neither do they have any nexus with it. They also cited some previous courts observations in this regard.
Saeed and others prayed to the Lahore HC to declare that the property detailed in this petition was "dedicated for the purpose of mosques and is being used as such therefore FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect."
"It is prayed that this learned court be pleased to declare that none of the petitioners and pro-forma respondents are linked with LeT and therefore the FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect (be quashed),” they prayed.
Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police had registered 23 FIRs against the petitioners on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of the Punjab province.
The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of trusts/Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.
The CTD said that it had launched an investigation into the financing matters of the proscribed organisations — JuD and LeT— in connection with the implementation of UN Sanctions against these designated entities and persons as directed by National Security Committee (NSC), during a meeting for implementing the National Action Plan chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan on 1 January, 2019.
"These suspects made assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in ATCs (Anti-Terrorism Courts) for the commission of these offences," the CTD said.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 17:26:48 IST