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Hafiz Saeed, outlawed leader of proscribed religious group Jamaat-ud-Dawa arrested.

Summary: Hafiz Saeed is facing charges in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing in Pakistan

In this February 5, 2019 file photo, Hafiz Saeed, chief of Pakistani religious group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, addresses a rally in Lahore, Pakistan. Image Credit: AP Also in this package

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Lahore: Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Wednesday, Geo TV reported.

Hafiz Saeed who has several cases pending against him was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to appear before an anti-terrorism court when the arrest took place.

CTD officials are expected to hold a news conference later in the day regarding the arrest of Hafiz Saeed who has been moved to an unknown location. According to reports, the arrest is part of the Government of Pakistan's crackdown against outlawed organisations under the National Action Plan.

Earlier, an Anti Terrorist Court (ATC) on Monday had granted pre-arrest bail to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and three others in a case pertaining to the banned outfit's alleged illegal use of land for its seminary.

Besides Saeed, interim bail was granted to Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza and Malik Zafar, until August 31 against surety bonds of 50,000 Pakistani rupees each.

On July 3, 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.

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), which registered the cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in five cities of Punjab, declared that the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts, including Al Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust.

These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD during investigations found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership and them accused of financing terrorism by building huge assets/properties from the collected funds in Pakistan.

Besides Saeed, his brother-in-law Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Mohammad Yahya Aziz, Mohammad Naeem, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Ahmad Daud, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Mohammad Ali and Abdul Ghaffar were also booked in the cases, according to Pakistani media.

The move comes ahead of Imran Khan's upcoming five-day visit to the US from July 20, during which he will hold talks with US President Donald Trump.

"Formal investigations on a large scale have been launched against the top leadership of the JuD for terror financing after the registration of FIRs against them during the last two days," a spokesperson for the CTD, Punjab had said early this month.

According to the official, substantial and irreversible punitive/legal action has been taken against them by the state, making these organisations "fully dysfunctional".

He said action was taken against them in connection with implementation of UN sanctions imposed on the JuD, Lashkar-i-Taiba and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FiF) besides their designated entities and leadership as directed by the National Security Committee (NSC) in January under the National Action Plan.

The CTD took some months to collect evidence against the banned organisations regarding terror financing. "These assets/non-profit organisations have already been taken over by the government in compliance with UN sanctions," he added.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 17, 2019
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