India questions Hafiz Saeed’s conviction in Pakistan, says decision taken ahead of FATF meet

India questions Hafiz Saeed’s conviction in Pakistan, says decision taken ahead of FATF meet

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NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday questioned the timing of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s conviction in Pakistan, saying the decision comes “on the eve” of global anti-terror watchdog FATF’s plenary meeting.
Taking note of a Pakistan court sentencing “UN designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed”, government sources said that the action is part of a long pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism.
They, however, said the efficacy of the decision must be noted since it comes on the eve of FATF Plenary meeting.
“It has to also be seen whether Pakistan would take action against other all terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control, and bring perpetrators of cross border terrorist attacks, including in Mumbai and Pathankot to justice expeditiously,” they said.
A Lahore-based anti-terrorism court on Wednesday convicted Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed in two terror-financing cases, sentencing him to five and a half years’ jail term in each, which will run concurrently, and a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case.
The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) meeting in Paris from February 16 will decide whether or not Pakistan finally needs to be blacklisted for failing to act against terror. “Pakistan wants to get off the grey list but it’s important to remember that Saeed has not been convicted in the Mumbai attacks case. We want to see sincere attempts to bring the Mumbai accused to justice,” an official source said.
The terror-financing cases against Saeed and his associates were filed last year by the counter terrorism department (CTD) of Pakistan’s Punjab province. CTD had lodged 23 cases against members of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

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