Unimpressed with Pakistan’s well-publicised crackdown on Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and his 12 aides, India on Thursday stressed that the action on terror financing appeared to be an effort to hoodwink the international community. The counter-terror unit of Pakistan’s Punjab had yesterday filed nearly two dozen cases against terror groups for terror financing and there were reports on Thursday that Hafiz Saeed might be arrested.
“Let us not get fooled by these cosmetic steps. We have seen the course of such convictions in the past. We have seen where it goes, where it is headed,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at his briefing.
The foreign ministry insisted that Pakistan’s sincerity on taking action against terrorists and terror groups will only be judged on the basis of Islamabad’s ability to demonstrate “verifiable, credible and irreversible action” and “not on the basis of half-hearted measures” that Kumar stressed, were designed to hoodwink the international community.
The FIRs against terror groups came less than two weeks after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) assessed Pakistan’s actions to curb terror financing and concluded it had missed two sets of targets under an action plan finalised after the country was put on the watchdog’s “grey list” last year. FATF also called for the prosecution of those involved in terror financing.
LeT has been banned in Pakistan since 2002 and the charities since last year.
The Punjab police had identified the Lashkar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah leaders booked in the cases as Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, his brother-in-law and close aide Abdul Rehman Makki, MaliK Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem Sheikh, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Ahmad Daud, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali, and Abdul Ghaffar.
The LeT and JuD leaders were accused of collecting “funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of trusts/non-profit organisations”, the spokesman said.
Just hours earlier, a Punjab police spokesperson told that 13 leaders of the banned groups had been named in the FIRs on charges of terror financing. “As the FIRs have been registered the suspects will be arrested shortly,” Punjab police spokesperson Niyab Haider Naqvi told.