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On Pak’s plea, UNSC allows Mumbai attack plotter Hafiz Saeed access to bank account for ‘basic expenses’

Saeed’s assets had been frozen after the UNSC sanctioned him under Resolution 1267 for links with the Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS).

SNS | New Delhi |

Following a request by Pakistan, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has allowed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed access to his bank account — which had been frozen because of the world body’s sanctions — for his family’s basic monthly expenses.

Pakistan had reached out to the UNSC asking to let UN-designated global terrorist Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed use his bank account for personal expenses.

Saeed’s assets had been frozen after the UNSC sanctioned him under Resolution 1267 for links with the Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS).

In a decision taken on August 15, the UN Sanctions Committee said it had received a letter from Pakistan seeking permission to allow Hafiz Saeed “certain expenditure” from his frozen bank account.

The Chair said “no objection” had been received from any member till 3 p.m. on that day and hence Pakistan’s request was approved.

“The Chair has the honour to refer to his draft letter to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan communicating the Committee’s decision with respect to the intention of the Pakistani authorities to authourise certain expenditures to the benefit of Hafiz Muhammed Saeed (QDi. 263), Haji Muhammad Ashraf (QDi. 265) and Zafar Iqbal (QDi. 308) to cover basic expenses, as specified in the note verbale of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the letter by the UNSC Chair read.

Pakistan, in its plea, said that it had received “an application from a Pakistani citizen” Hafiz Muhammad Saeed requesting that he be allowed access to the frozen funds in his bank account to the tune of 1.5 lakh Pakistani Rupees “you cover necessary basic living expenses for himself and his family”.

Pakistan’s letter said the bank account had Saeed’s pension on account of his serving as a professor for 25 years in University of Engineering and Technology, from where he retired in 1999.

He will be able to access 70,000 Pakistani Rupees for food and 25,000 Pakistani Rupees each for medicines and public utilities.

Saeed, who is the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks and several other terror attacks in India, also carries a bounty of $10 million announced by the US.

The move to allow Hafiz Saeed access to his bank account comes after Pakistan is claimed to have taken tough measures against individuals and entities of all banned outfits as designated by the UN Security Council.

In July, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, Hafiz Saeed was reportedly arrested and sent to jail in Pakistan.

Earlier in February, following diplomatic pressure after the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan had also banned 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its front Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

The JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT, which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has cried foul over a certain section of Indian media “unnecessarily politicising” the issue of UNSC allowing Saeed access to his frozen bank account.