Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, has been charged by a Pakistani court with terror financing. The indictment came ahead of a meeting of global terror funding watchdog FATF (Financial Action Task Force) early next year to decide whether to blacklist Pakistan on failure to curb terror financing.
The charges were read as Saeed was present in the anti-terrorism court, government prosecutor Abdur Rauf told news agency Reuters.
On July 17, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the police in Pakistan's Punjab registered 23 FIR (First Information Reports) against Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province and arrested the Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief.
He is currently lodged at the Kot Lakhpat jail.
The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terror financing through assets made and held in the names of Trusts/Non Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust and Muaz Bin Jabal Trust.
India had said last week that it was aware that the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack was "roaming freely" and enjoying "Pakistan's hospitality".
Foreign Ministery spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi last Friday that India had shared all the evidence with Pakistan and it was Islamabad's responsibility "to take action" against the perpetrators of the attack. Pakistan's anti-terrorism court then fixed December 11 as date for framing the charges against Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder, and other co-accused Malik Zafar Iqbal.
Under pressure from the international community, the Pakistani authorities have launched investigations into matters of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jammat-ud-Dawah and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) for their holding and use of trusts to raise funds for terror funding.
(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)