Pakistani Islamist leader pleads not guilty on terrorism financing charges

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of the banned Islamic charity Jamat-ud-Dawa, looks over the crowed as they end a “Kashmir Caravan” from Lahore with a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan July 20, 2016. (REUTERS/File)
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Updated 20 December 2019

Pakistani Islamist leader pleads not guilty on terrorism financing charges

  • Hafiz Saeed is facing charges of financing terrorism
  • The US has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to his conviction

LAHORE: Pakistani Islamist militant Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, pleaded not guilty on Friday in a second case on charges of financing terrorism, a government prosecutor and a defense lawyer said.
Saeed, who was indicted on similar charges in another case on Dec 11, was presented in an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, prosecutor Abdur Rauf Watto told Reuters.
Defense lawyer Imran Gill said the second case was related to Saeed’s charity operations. “The militant charities the accused ran collected illegal funds,” Watto said.
Saeed is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), or the Army of the Pure, a militant group blamed by the United States and India for the four-day Mumbai siege in which 160 people were killed. Foreigners, including Americans, were among the dead.
Pakistan’s counterterrorism police arrested Saeed in July, days before a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The indictments came ahead of a meeting of world financial watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) early next year that will decide whether to blacklist Pakistan for its failure to curb terror financing.
The United States has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the conviction of Saeed, who has been arrested and released several times over the past decade.
Washington has long pressured Pakistan to try Saeed, who is designated a terrorist by the United States and the United Nations.
The Islamist has denied any involvement in the Mumbai attacks and says his network, which spans 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance services, has no ties to militant groups.


FM Qureshi holds meeting with UAE state minister, discusses bilateral cooperation

Updated 28 November 2020

FM Qureshi holds meeting with UAE state minister, discusses bilateral cooperation

  • The Pakistani foreign minister highlighted close fraternal ties and stressed his country’s commitment to closer bilateral cooperation
  • UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi appreciated Qureshi’s proposal to the OIC to focus on the menace of Islamophobia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met United Arab Emirates Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi on the sidelines of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Niamey, Niger, on Saturday.
During their meeting, the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral cooperation, COVID-19 situation, Pakistan’s participation in an Expo arranged by the UAE, and other matters of mutual interest.
Qureshi highlighted the close fraternal ties and people-to-people contacts between the two countries and stressed Pakistan’s commitment to forge closer cooperation with the UAE in diverse fields.
According to an official handout circulated by the foreign office of Pakistan, the Emirati state minister lauded Qureshi’s speech at the Niger meeting in which he proposed the OIC to deal with the menace of Islamophobia.
“Apprising the Emirati Minister of State of the difficulties being faced by Pakistani citizens with regard to UAE visa, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need to address the issue at the earliest possible,” said the official statement. “The two sides also exchanged views on OIC matters and stressed the importance of further strengthening it as a united and pivotal platform for the Muslim Ummah.”
It was also agreed during the meeting to enhance mutual exchanges to carry forward the process of growing bilateral cooperation.