Islamabad [Pakistan], April 12 (ANI): Jamat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed has been convicted of financing terrorism. But who finances him?
Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist of religions, writing in Bitter Winter, a magazine of religious liberty and human rights said though Saeed was sentenced to 33 years in jail, terrorism continues.
On April 8, Muhammad Hafiz Saeed, who was already in jail since July 17, 2019, for other charges, was sentenced by a special anti-terrorism court in Lahore, Pakistan, to a jail term of 33 years for “financing terrorism.”
Here precisely lie the problems not solved by the Lahore decision. The court established that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organization, was financed by Saeed and his political group Jamat-ud-Dawa.
The further question, however, is who finances Saeed and Jamat-ud-Dawa. This is a subject the court did not want to explore, said Introvigne.
Until these complicities, which reach out to the highest echelons of Pakistani politics, are investigated and exposed, the well-publicized trials of a few old terrorist leaders will not solve the problem, and terrorism will continue.
There is little doubt that Saeed not only financed terrorism but is a terrorist himself. He is a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is listed as a terrorist organization both by the United States and the European Union and was responsible among others for the bloody 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. The United States had placed a bounty of USD 10 million on his head.
In recent years, Saeed devoted most of his time to Jamat-ud-Dawa, the political organization he founded.
Although widely regarded as the political branch of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Saeed claimed its aims were purely political and it did not support military operations. The Lahore court thought otherwise, reported Bitter Winter.
Saeed’s terrorist activity has mostly targeted India. His was almost a single-issue terrorist organization, focusing on Kashmir. Many are persuaded, in Pakistan and abroad, that Saeed has consistently been a tool of ISI, and ISI has financed and trained those in Saeed’s terror network, reported Introvigne.
Moreover, the sentencing of seasoned terrorist Hafiz Saeed to 31 years of imprisonment on April 8 amid a political crisis in the country is a seasonal pretence by Pakistan to avoid economic sanctions by the global anti-terror watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to a media report.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was sent to prison in two terror financing cases that were registered by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in 2019, according to Islam Khabar.
Saeed’s sentencing is part of Pakistan’s ‘preparations’ to meet stringent anti-terror measures that it is being asked to fulfil since 2018 to escape action by the FATF. It is a seasonal charade to avoid or postpone economic sanctions in case the FATF is not satisfied with the country’s measures taken against terror funding and money laundering. (ANI)