Pakistan court sentences Islamist terrorist Hafiz Saeed to 31 years imprisonment
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Pakistan court sentences Islamist terrorist Hafiz Saeed to 31 years imprisonment

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan Friday awarded a combined sentence of 31 years imprisonment to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in two cases of terror financing registered by the country’s Counter Terrorism Depart­ment (CTD). Saeed was allegedly the mastermind behind the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, which killed over 160 people.

Justice Ejaz Ahmad Buttar handed down the guilty verdict in two criminal complaints filed in the year 2019, under various sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997. While the judge awarded a sentence of 31 years in both cases together, it is unclear how much actual jail time this would entail. He is already in jail, as he was found guilty on multiple similar charges in 2020. The order stated: “The sentences awarded to convict Hafiz Muhammad Saeed run concurrently of this case and of previously awarded, if any.”

The judge also imposed a collective fine of Pakistani Rs. 340,000 in both cases and ordered the immediate seizure of all of Saeed’s assets. According to reports, the authorities would take over a mosque and madrassa allegedly built by Saeed.

Late on Friday, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) exercised its powers under Section 35(1)(a) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, to designate Saeed’s son, Hafiz Talha Saeed, as a terrorist. The notification stated:

Hafiz Talha Saeed has been actively involved in recruitment, fund collection, planning and executing attacks by LeT in India and Indian interests in Afghanistan. Hafiz Talha Saeed has been actively visiting various LeT centres across Pakistan and during his sermons propagating for jihad against India, Israel, United States of America and Indian interests in other western countries.