Hafiz Saeed declared a terrorist: China’s failure behind Pakistan move?

Under a new ordinance, Pakistani authorities will proscribe Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation

Hafiz Saeed

Today’s Paper: Has Pakistan turned over a new leaf when it comes to aiding, harbouring and turning a blind eye to terrorist organisations operating from its soil? Has it finally heeded India’s warnings or US President Donald Trump’s threats? One might be inclined to believe so, to some extent, given the ordinance promulgated by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain last week will reportedly lead be the proscription of Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). The truth could be that Islamabad is facing a tough situation that its friend Beijing has been unable to bail it out of.

However, even as the ordinance was promulgated and signed, Pakistan-baked terrorist organisations attacked military installations in India — an Indian Army camp in Jammu and a CRPF camp in Srinagar. So, what made Islamabad take a decision that, as Pakistani newspaper Dawn describes, “would end a long-standing ambiguity over the status of Hafiz Saeed-linked JuD and FIF by firmly placing them on the list of proscribed groups”? It could be that a global financial watchdog might have finally compelled the powers that be in that country to take some action.

According to the Pakistani daily, analysts fear that the aforementioned international body could take punitive action against Pakistan if the country is found to be complicit in terror financing. According to the report, such an action could jack up the cost of doing international and domestic business.

Upcoming global financial watchdog meeting hounding Pakistan
According to Dawn, the new ordinance was brought in with just over a week left before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 23, in Paris. According to the report, Islamabad is facing a Washington- and New Delhi-led attempt to get Pakistan included in FATF’s international money-laundering and terror-financing ‘grey list’. In this backdrop, Pakistan’s National Security Committee had directed the concerned ministries to “complete the few outstanding actions at the earliest” for complying with the FATF’s requirements, the report added.

So, did the upcoming FATF meet really spook Pakistani authorities? As reported earlier, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based organisation which sets standards for banks globally, has been scrutinising Pakistan’s record on terror financing.

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I am LeT’s biggest supporter; Hafeez Saeed likes me too: Pervez Musharraf

The former president added he was always in favour of terrorist action in Kashmir

Ajmal Kasab, Pervez Musharraf, Kulbhushan Jadhav

Today’s PaperFormer Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has come out in support of the terror groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), saying they were the biggest force against the Indian Army in Kashmir.

Speaking on Pakistan’s ARY News, Pervez Musharraf said, “I am the biggest supporter of the LeT and I know they like me and the JuD also likes me.”

He further said he liked the global terrorist, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, and had met him.

The former president added he was always in favour of terrorist action in Kashmir, and the LeT and the JuD were the biggest forces to take on the Indian Army in the state.

“I was always in favour of action in Kashmir and of suppressing the Indian Army in Kashmir and they [LeT] are the biggest force,” Musharraf said.

He also accused India of declaring the LeT and the JuD as terror groups with the help of the United States.

“India got them declared as terrorists by partnering with the US,” Musharraf said, adding,” Yes, they [LeT] are involved in Kashmir and in Kashmir it is, between, we [Pakistan] and India.”

Earlier this week, the US strongly condemned the release of LeT leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest and called for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution.

The White House in a statement, said, “The United States strongly condemns the release of LeT leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest in Pakistan and calls for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution.”

“A clear international consensus exists regarding Saeed’s culpability-he was designated by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. The Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the United States, since 2012, has offered a $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice,” it read.

Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, was released on November 24 after a Pakistan judicial body ordered his release from house arrest, rejecting a request from the government of Punjab to extend his detention by three months.

The decision to put Saeed under house arrest in January was seen as a response to actions by US President Donald Trump’s White House against nations deemed linked to terrorism.