BY HAMZA AMEER
Islamabad, June 18 (IANS) An Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore, hearing a money-laundering and terror-financing case against the senior leadership of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JUD), announced the verdict on Thursday, sentencing the top JUD leadership and close aids of Hafiz Saeed to jail.
Announcing the verdict, the ATC sentenced at least four JUD operatives and senior leaders to jail, after being found guilty of money-laundering and terror-financing charges.
As per the orders of the court, Abdul Rehman Makki, brother in law of Hafiz Saeed and senior leader of JUD, along with Hafiz Abdul Salam to at least one year, while Professor Zafar Iqbal and Yahya Mujahid have been sentenced to at least five years imprisonment.
The court has also imposed a fine of at least 20,000 on the one year imprisonment and Rs 50,000 for the ones sent to at least five year imprisonment respectively.
The court found JUD operatives guilty of using separate properties, owned under the name of “Tanzeem Al-Anfaal Trust,” an organisation, that worked as subsidiary of the proscribed organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), adding that the property was being used for the support of terrorist activities and terrorists.
The verdict also revealed that the property was obtained one of the co-accused Abdul Salam, who later transferred it to Tanzeem Al-Anfaal, while the property remained under the control of the four co-accused, who utilised the premises for terror-financing and the construction of “Madrassa Jamia Sataria,” aimed at terrorist activities facilitation.
The verdict also maintained that after organizations, JUD, LeT, Tanzeem Al-Anfaal and others were proscribed, the accused had enough time to disassociate themselves from these organizations. However, the verdict maintained that all the four co-accused have accepted to their membership to Al-Anfaal Trust prior to its proscription.
The Anti-Terror Court (ATC) decision has been given as per Section-11-1(2) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997.
The decision comes at a time when Pakistan is gearing up to present its progress report before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is grilled Islamabad for failing to take strong actions to curb terror-financing and money-laundering.
The FATF had also called on Pakistan to take action against JUD Chief Hafiz Saeed and his affiliated members along with organisations associated with the proscribed organizations.
Sending Hafiz Saeed to jail first and now following it with imprisonment for top four leaders of JUD is going to help Islamabad’s case in front of the FATF.
BY HAMZA AMEER