U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Wednesday welcomed the conviction of the 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. According to her, the conviction is an important step towards holding the Lashkar-a-Taiba (LeT) accountable.
In a big development on Wednesday, Saeed was convicted for five and a half years in two terror financing cases against him.
Today’s conviction of Hafiz Saeed and his associate is an important step forward – both toward holding LeT accountable for its crimes, and for #Pakistan in meeting its international commitments to combat terrorist financing.— State_SCA (@State_SCA) February 12, 2020
Earlier, India doubted Pakistan's intent over the conviction of the 26/11 mastermind.
"The decision has been made on the eve of the FATF plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen. It has to also be seen whether Pakistan would take action against other all 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," ANI quoted government sources as saying.
Saeed's conviction comes days ahead of the Plenary and Working Group meetings of the FATF - a Paris-based global watchdog which, last year, had warned Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and three of his associates - Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Mohammad, Mohammad Ashraf and Professor Zafar Iqbal - had been indicted by the ATC - on terror financing charges on December 11 last year in a case filed by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).
The 26/11 mastermind, Hafiz Saeed was convicted on Wednesday under ATA Section 11-F (2) and 11-N. Additionally, he has been slapped with a fine of Rs15,000 in each case. This came even after the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore accepted his plea to club all the pending cases against him and then announce the verdict. The 26/11 mastermind and UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed had also pleaded "not guilty."