Ahead of FATF meeting, Pak arrests 4 Hafiz Saeed aides

Four persons closely associated with global terrorist Hafiz Saeed have been arrested by Counter Terrorism Department of the government of Punjab, reported Express Tribune on Thursday.

The arrested people have been identified as Zafar Iqbal, Hafiz Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Ashraf and Abdul Salam. The four aides will appear before a trial court on Friday.

The arrest comes days ahead of crucial Financial Action Task Force plenary meeting during which the global anti-money laundering watchdog will give its decision on the country’s ‘grey list’ status. The meeting is scheduled to be held in Paris from October 12 to October 15.

In July, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Saeed was booked in nearly two dozen cases of terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Saeed is under judicial custody ever since.

It seems Pakistan is making last-ditch effort to have a meeting outcome in its favour. The country has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Haqqani Network, among others. In addition, proscribed terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood are either regularly seen seeking donations and volunteers for armed rebellions in India, or making calls for jihad in Kashmir from the inner recesses of GHQ Rawalpindi.

In August 2019, a subsidiary body of FATF, the Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards. On 40 compliance parameters, Pakistan was non-compliant on 30. On 11 effectiveness parameters, the country was adjudged as Low on 10.

Leave a Reply