India today appeared unimpressed with Pakistan’s decision to sentence JeM chief and mastermind of the Mumbai attack, Hafiz Saeed, to 11 years in prison for terror financing, calling it part of Islamabad’s international obligation.
“We have seen media reports that a court in Pakistan has sentenced UN-designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed in terror financing case. It is part of a long-pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism,” sources in the government said.
“The decision has been made on the eve of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary meeting, which begins from Sunday. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen,” sources said.
“It has to also be seen whether Pakistan would take action against other terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control and bring perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks, including in Mumbai and Pathankot, to justice expeditiously,” they added.
FATF, the international terror financing watchdog, had noted in its meeting held in October 2019 that Pakistan addressed only five out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the LeT, JeM, and Hizbul Mujahideen, responsible for a series of attacks in India. The FATF strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2020. In the Beijing meeting held late last year, Pakistan had provided a list of actions taken to comply with the FATF diktat.
Pakistan was placed on the “grey list” by FATF in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the blacklist along with Iran and North Korea.
This is the first time that Saeed has been imprisoned since the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Saeed was found guilty of “being part of a banned terrorist outfit” and for “having illegal property”.