Terror financing charges against Hafiz Saeed does not appear credible, verifiable
New Delhi, July 04: Pakistan has slapped terror financing charges against Lashkar-e-Tayiba boss, Hafiz Saeed and the trusts associated with him.
The move comes in the wake of a stern warning from the Financial Action Task Force which asked Pakistan to act on terror financing or be downgraded to the black list. A crucial meeting of the FATF is scheduled for October this year.
India, however is not impressed with the action and states that Saeed needs to be arrested, tried and sentenced for his acts of terror. Saeed is the mastermind of the Mumbai 26/11 case and in Pakistan the trial has not taken shape and Saeed roams scot free.
An Indian official while claiming that the action by Pakistan is an eye-wash also adds that the latest action by Pakistan does not appear to be credible and verifiable. He tells OneIndia that one has come across similar action in the past, but it has never been taken to its logical conclusion. Each time such cases are slapped Saeed comes up with a new name for his outfit to dodge any sort of punishment.
It may be recalled that in February, days after the Lashkar-e-Tayiba's financial units, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat were banned, Saeed had floated a new group called the Al-Madina. In a bid to dodge the ban, Saeed had come up with the Al-Madina and Aisar Foundation.
Following the decision by the Pakistan government, India said that it did not read much into the ban as such instances have taken place in the past as well.
Pakistan has this tendency to protect its terrorists under the cover of a ban and it had taken similar action following the 26/11 attack. However the Lashkar-e-Tayiba did not stop its activities, Indian officials explained.
There have been bans in the past, but the Jamaat-ud-Dawa has managed to over come it in various ways.
Both the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court had cleared the JuD in the past and allowed it to operate. While the bans have been in place in the past as well, the JuD has always managed to overcome it either by going to court or carrying out its activities by coming up with newer outfits.
The JuD is the parent group of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. However in the year 2000, there was another parent group of the Lashkar which was known as the Markaz Dawa wal-Irshad. This was the group that carried out the alleged charity work and raised funds for the Lashkar.
Those were early days of the Lashkar and the Markaz had played a vital role in funding it. However in the year 2002, the Markaz was banned for funding terror activities. Did it make any difference? Not at all and Saeed immediately floated the JuD. Similarly Saeed floated the FeF after the JuD was banned.
Following the 26/11 attack, investigators in India found the funding of the attack to have been carried out by the JuD. There was international pressure and this forced a ban on the JuD. In fact the then interior minister, Rehman Malik had informed that the JuD had been banned with immediate effect.
Paksitan's eye wash was evident in the year 2008. It sealed 100 offices of the JuD and even Saeed was placed under house arrest only to be released later. During all this Pakistan made a shocking statement in which it stated that there was no need to issue any notification banning the JuD when the UN has already added it to the list of banned outfits.
There was some more eye wash by Pakistan. It claimed that it had sealed the 200 acre campus of the JuD in Murdike. It also stated that an administrator in Pakistan had taken over the operational facility of the JuD.
All this led to the JuD seeking legal recourse. The petition drafted by top bureaucrats of Pakistan sought a directive to first release Saeed who was under house arrest. The court allowed the petition and in the days to come even the ban on the JuD was lifted.
It is quite surprising that the Pakistan government was asked to return the property of the JuD and also its other assets when there was never any official notification
The JuD has a sprawling campus at Murdike spread over 200 acres of land. It has teaching facilities catering to 3000 students and also residential complexes. The investigations post 26/11 showed that the ten terrorists were housed in this complex and underwent training over here.
The funds according to investigators came in from Saudi Arabia right from 1998 and till date the majority of the funding is from there. With the help of these funds the JuD has been accused of recruiting youth from Kashmir and Pakistan and train them to undertake strikes against India.
Further it has also been found that the JuD in a bid to attract possible recruits from southern Punjab also held camps in Kasur district. This particular camp had come under the radar of the Indian agencies.
The fact that the JuD enjoys the complete backing of the military can be seen in various instances. Following the Quetta earthquake the JuD was openly seen assisting the military in relief works.
This was quite surprising as Pakistan had claimed that it had banned the JuD. Even when former President Pervez Musharaff had claimed to have curbed the outfit and clipped its wings, he was no where to be seen or heard when Saeed held a rally in Lahore at the same time.