International Legal

Pakistan removes Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and FIF from banned outfit list: Report

ISLAMABAD: A top Pakistan court was told on Thursday that internationally-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s outfits Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) are no longer on the banned outfits list, reported the country’s media.

Following international pressure and US act of freezing military and economic aids to Pakistan, former president Mamnoon Hussain had signed an ordinance in February 2018 amending the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act to include entities banned by the UN Security Council.

The UNSC sanctions list includes the names of terror organisations such as JuD, FIF, Lashkar-e-Toiba, al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

During the hearing of a petition filed by Saeed, his counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Sohail Warraich informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the presidential ordinance had lapsed and it had never been extended or tabled in parliament to be converted into an act, reported Dawn News.

Confirming that the ordinance has indeed lapsed, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood Khan the IHC since the petitioner did not cite the interior ministry as a respondent, he could not give a statement unless the petition was amended and the interior secretary added as a party in the petition.

Saeed, the co-founder of banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), was put under house arrest in 2009 and 2017 but later released by a Pakistan court despite a massive global outcry.

In a petition, the Mumbai attack mastermind claimed that he has cut off all ties with the LeT and that “India continued to malign JuD for its past association with the banned outfit.”

According to a list updated on Sept 5 on the National Counter Terrorism Authority’s website, 66 organisations have been banned in the country and JuD and FIF are not among them. However, the two Hafiz Saeed-linked organisations are “under watch by the ministry of interior” under Section 11-D-(1), read with Schedule-II of the ATA,” further reported Dawn.