The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat Ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested on Wednesday on terror financing charges by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Province, just days ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to the US.
“The JuD chief was going to Gujranwala from Lahore on Wednesday morning when a CTD team intercepted him near Gujranwala city (some 80-km from Lahore) and arrested him on terror financing charges,” a CTD official told PTI.
Saeed was presented before an Anti-Terrorism Court in Gujranwala, after his arrest, that granted his judicial remand.
He was subsequently shifted to Lahore’s high-security Kot Lakhpat jail where former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is lodged, the official said.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
Trump has repeatedly asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds.
The CTD on July 3 had registered 23 FIRs against 13 top leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) including Saeed on the charges of “terror financing” in different cities of Punjab province.
Saeed’s arrest is also being seen as a pressure on Pakistan in connection with its commitment to the Financial Act Task Force (FATF) who’s next deadline is in October.
Saeed-led JuD is believed to be a front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.