Islamabad: Pakistan authorities on Wednesday arrested Mumbai 2008 terror attack mastermind and founder of militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and sent him on judicial remand in connection with a terrorism financing case.
Saeed was arrested while he was on his way to Gujranwala from Lahore.
The Counter-Terrorism Department has been directed to complete the investigation and submit a charge sheet to the court.
The move from the Pakistan comes days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to United States next week.
Pakistan is under a pressure from terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force to curb the financing of militant groups. The FATF has put Pakistan under “grey list” for its failure in handling terrorism. On June 22, the FATF warned Pakistan of deciding extreme step if it fails to achieve its target by October this year.
On July 3, the top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The government had announced a ban on JuD and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or at least considered them low-risk entities.
The CTD has declared that Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts.
On Monday, a Lahore High Court division bench sought replies from the government on a petition filed by Saeed and his seven aides challenging an FIR carrying a charge of terror financing.