Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, has been convicted by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in a case of terror financing. The court sentenced the Jamaat ud Dawah chief to 11 years in prison.
Saeed has been sentenced in two terror-funding cases registered in Lahore and Gujranwala. The court sentenced Saeed to five-and-a-half years in both cases. The punishments will run concurrently, in effect implying that he will be out of jail after five-and-a-half years. The court imposed on him a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case too.
Pakistan is believed to have acted against the wanted terrorist under pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF had put Pakistan in its grey list and the Islamic state was under threat moving to the black list.
On 11 December, the anti-terrorism court had convicted Saeed and his close associates in the terror-funding cases.
The US has placed a reward of US $ 10 million on terrorist Saeed. On 17 July, Saeed was arrested in connection with the terrorist funding cases. He was lodged in the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
Earlier in December, charges were framed against Saeed and his three close associates Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal.
Jamaat ud Dawah is the organisation that used to raise money for Pakistani terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. The US and the FATF targeted Pakistan for its complicity in the crime. It was Lashkar that had carried out the 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people, including six American citizens, were killed.
When the Lashkar drew international attention for its terrorist activities, the Jamaat was floated to camouflage the terror outfit and offer a facelift to Saeed. Thereafter, he masqueraded as a Pakistani citizen dedicated to social services like flood relief and earthquake relief while the Pakistani state, as well as a majority of its citizens, vehemently denied that Jamaat ud Dawah was a front of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Recently, the US had asked Pakistan to ensure a factual and speedy hearing in the court where the Mumbai terror attack mastermind was being tried. The international community wants to see justice done in the Mumbai attack case.