Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed's brother-in-law arrested
Lahore, May 15: Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa's top leader and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's brother-in-law Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki has been arrested for hate speech and criticising the Pakistan government, police said on Wednesday.
Makki, head of JuD's political and international affairs wing and in-charge of its charity Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), was arrested during a government crackdown against the outlawed organisations. Punjab police spokesperson Nabila Ghazanfar confirmed Makki’s arrest. She, however, did not explain the charges under which he was arrested.
Sources said Makki has been arrested for making a hate speech in Gujranwala city, some 80-km from Lahore. The sources also said his arrest should be seen in connection with the government's steps to comply with the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings him to justice. Saeed is keeping a low profile and currently living at his Lahore residence under high security. For the first time in two decades, Saeed was not allowed to enter and deliver weekly sermon at JuD headquarters in Lahore since early this March.
The JuD and its sister organization Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF) leadership has already gone underground in the wake of the government's action against the proscribed organizations. In February, Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF decided to continue the 'Grey' listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the JuD.
The Pakistan government has launched a crackdown against the outlawed organisations under the National Action Plan 2015 to eliminate militancy and extremism from the country's soil. The Pakistan government had arrested over 100 members of banned outfits including the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother and taken control of JeM, JuD and FIF properties including seminaries and mosques across the country apparently under immense international pressure.
The government termed the action in accordance with the National Action Plan and meeting the obligations of the Financial Action Task Force. The Imran Khan-led government has also announced the freezing of accounts and seizure of assets linked to organisations banned by the UN Security Council. The government banned 11 organisations for having links with the proscribed outifts JuD, FIF and JeM on Saturday.
After the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 Indian security personnel were killed by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based JeM, prime minister Khan had said Islamabad would not spare any group involved in militancy or using Pakistani soil for any kind of terror activity against other countries.
The FIF, like the JuD, was also banned in March by the Pakistan government. Recently, the government announced to take control of more than 30,000 religious seminaries. The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.