BY HAMZA AMEER
Lahore, Aug 28 (IANS) An Anti-terror court (ATC) on Friday convicted three top leaders of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in various cases of terror financing.
As per the verdict of the ATC court, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki and Hafiz Abdul Salam were found guilty of using the premises and names of different organisations to facilitate terror financing.
The court awarded imprisonment of 16 years and six months with a fine of Rs 150,000 to Hafiz Abdul Salam and Malik Zafar Iqbal while Abdul Rehman Makki was sentenced to 1.5 years in jail with a fine of Rs 20,000.
It is important to note that Malik Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz Abdul Salam have been handed out 16.5 years in jail as they are designated terrorists on the UN sanctions list while Abdul Rehman Makki’s name is not on the UN list and has been awarded a sentence of 1.5 years.
Abdul Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed was arrested by the ATC and sent to Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore along with Abdul Salam, while Zafar Iqbal was sent to Sheikhupura jail.
ATC-III judge Ejaz Ahmed Buttar conducted the case proceedings in various cases filed by the Counter Terrorism Department of the Punjab province.
It is pertinent to mention that while hearing the JuD leaders’ petition challenging their conviction by the ATC, the Lahore High Court had granted bail to Abdul Rehman Makki and Abdul Salam and also a reduction in their sentence on 13 August 2020.
The Lahore High Court reduced their sentence to one-year imprisonment for terror financing.
The Lahore court granted bail to the JuD leaders and ordered their release.
However, the latest ATC verdict of Friday has brushed aside the Lahore court’s verdict, ordering immediate arrest of both leaders from the premises of the court and sending them straight to jail.
The counter terrorism department of the Punjab province had registered at least 23 cases against the JuD leadership, including their affiliate organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the charity umbrella organisation Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
The cases were registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan during July 2019, alleging illegal collection of funds for terror financing through assets and properties made and held in the names of trusts and non-profit organisations.
The names being used to shelter and hide terror financing funds under charity were Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawat-ul-Irshad Trust, Maaz-bin-Iqbal Educational Trust, Al Hamd Trust and Al Madina Foundation Trust.
Leaders of JuD booked for terror financing include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem Sheikh, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Dr Ahmed Daud, Dr Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali, Abdul Ghaffar and others.
BY HAMZA AMEER