Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed on Wednesday to have arrested Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on charges of terrorism financing.
The arrest happened when religious cleric was on his way from Lahore to Gujranwala, sources in CTD confirmed. Saeed was sent to prison on judicial remand after the counter-terrorism department presented him before a Gujranwala anti-terrorism court (ATC).
Hafiz Saeed, Naib Ameer Abdul Rehman Makki and 13 other leaders of the defunct JuD were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on July 03.
The cases were registered in five cities of Punjab, and CTD alleged that JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts, including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.
These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD during detailed investigations found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership, accused of financing terrorism by building huge assets/properties from the collected funds in Pakistan. On Monday, a Lahore High Court division bench sought replies from the Ministry of Interior, Punjab home department and CTD on a petition filed by JuD chief Saeed and his seven aides challenging an FIR carrying a charge of terror financing.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday hailed the arrest of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed — chief of the banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) — who India and Washington accuse of being the mastermind of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks and have declared a global terrorist.
Trump, who didn’t name Saeed, said: “After a ten-year search, the so-called ‘mastermind’ of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!” Trump’s tweet comes days before Prime Minister Imran Khan’s scheduled visit to Washington on July 22.