- Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar were declared terrorists under new law
- Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim too were declared terrorists
- Earlier, only organisations could be given terrorism designation by India
The US has backed India's move to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and two others as terrorists individually on Wednesday under a new anti-terror law.
"We stand w/ #India & commend it for utilizing new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat scourge of terrorism," Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, tweeted today.
Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim are the two others declared terrorists individually by the government. The announcement by the Union Home Ministry was made nearly a month after parliament approved an amendment to The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment or UAPA Act, 1967. All four are involved in terrorist attacks in India and have been designated as global terrorists by the United Nations.
We stand w/ #India & commend it for utilizing new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat scourge of terrorism. AGW— State_SCA (@State_SCA) September 4, 2019
"The central government believes that Maulana Masood Azhar is involved in terrorism and Maulana Masood Azhar is to be notified as a terrorist under the said Act," a home ministry notification said.
"The central government believes that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is involved in terrorism and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is to be notified as a terrorist under the said Act," it added.
While Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Masood Azhar was responsible for the Pulwama attack in February as well as the 2001 attack on parliament.
The amendment to the UAPA Act, which gave powers to the government to designate individuals as "terrorists" were passed in parliament last month. Before the amendment, only organisations and not individuals could be given the terrorism designation by India.
"Terrorism has no religion, terrorists are against humanity; all should support stringent laws against it," Home Minister Amit Shah had said as the opposition contended that provisions of the bill violated individual liberty.
Under the new bill, the government can impose a travel ban on individuals who have been designated as "terrorists" and seize their properties. The law is in conformity with United Nations conventions as well as international standards, the government said.
Individuals designated as terrorists can appeal to the Union Home Secretary, who will have to dispose of the plea within 45 days. In addition to this, they can also approach a review committee comprising a sitting or retired judge and at least two retired secretaries of the government.