In a big development, the Pakistan government on Wednesday booked Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and his 12 accomplices for ‘terrorism financing’ in 23 cases.
Those named in the cases besides Saeed are his brother-in-law Abdul Rehman Makki, Ameer Hamza and Muhammad Yahya Aziz.
Pakistan counter-terrorism department said it has registered 23 cases against the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and 12 aides for using five trusts to "raise funds for terrorism financing".
Apart from Jamaat-ud Dawa, Other non-profit organisations against whom cases were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act are – Dawatul Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al Anfaal Trust, Al Madina Foundation Trust and Alhamd Trust.
As per the charges, these proscribed outfits were operating under the guise of charities and were involved in funneling funds to terror suspects, it said.
The development comes amid growing international pressure on Islamabad to act against terrorism. Last month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned Pakistan to meet its commitment by October or face action, which could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted.
In June last year, the FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.
In a statement issued at the conclusion of its Plenary meeting in Orlando, Florida, the FATF expressed concern "that not only did Pakistan fail to complete its action plan items with January deadlines, it also failed to complete its action plan items due May 2019".
The FATF "strongly" urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire.
"Otherwise, the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress," the international financial body said leaving a strong warning to Pakistan.
The FATF said Pakistan had taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering/combating the financial terrorism) regime, including the recent development of its terroe funding risk assessment addendum.
With Agency Inputs