Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organization on Friday challenged terror financing cases lodged against him in a petition filed in the Lahore High Court.
Saeed, along with Amir Hamza, Abdur Rehman Makki, M Yahya Aziz and four others filed a plea at the LHC, naming the federal government, Punjab government and the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) as respondents.
The petition asked the court to declare the First Information Reports (FIR) registered against the petitioners null and void. It further adds that Saeed has no relation with the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Al-Qaeda or any other similar organisations.
“The accused are not involved in any activity against the state. Accusations by the Indian lobby naming Saeed as the mastermind behind Mumbai attacks are not based on reality,” the petition said.
Earlier this month, Punjab’s CTD, in a major crackdown against terror financing, registered 23 cases against the JuD chief and 12 aides for using five trusts to “funnel funds to terror suspects”
The CTD said a large-scale investigation had been launched into the finances of proscribed organisations JuD, LeT and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation in connection with the implementation of UN sanctions against these designated entities and persons. The government had attributed the action to orders from the National Security Committee that met on January 1 this year. Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting.
The CTD said it had registered cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan against the leadership of banned outfits JuD, LeT and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
India had dissed the hype in Pakistan around the formal complaints, pointing that it appeared to be aimed to mislead the international community into believing that there had been a change in Islamabad’s approach to cross border terrorism.
The “cosmetic” move follows pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which last year placed Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and terrorism financing. FATF has given Pakistan an October deadline to comply with its requirements or face blacklisting.