Pakistan says hasn’t restored bank accounts of Mumbai attacks accused Hafiz Saeed, aides 

Pakistan head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation Hafiz Saeed waves to supporters as he leaves a court in Lahore on November 21, 2017. (AFP)
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Updated 14 July 2020

Pakistan says hasn’t restored bank accounts of Mumbai attacks accused Hafiz Saeed, aides 

  • Foreign office says financial sanctions on Saeed and his associates remain in place, being strictly monitored
  • Says UNSC Sanctions Committee granted limited “exemptions” to the designated individuals in 2019 so they could meet basic expenses

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign office on Monday rejected a report in Pakistani media that the government had restored the bank accounts of Hafiz Saeed, accused by India and the United States of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, as well as four aides.

Saeed was jailed for 11 years this February on terrorism funding charges, the first high profile figure to be convicted on such charges in Pakistan, which denies accusations that it shelters or aids militants.

Amid pressure from a world financial watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to take action against militant groups allegedly connected to Saeed, Pakistan also charged him in December with collecting funds for his organizations, which are listed as terrorist organizations by the United Nations. Saeed has pleaded not guilty.

In 2019, Pakistan also banned two charities run by Saeed as part of government steps to comply with FATF requirements.

“The story published in an English language newspaper on 12 July 2020 about the restoration of bank accounts of UN Designated Persons is factually incorrect and misleading,” the foreign office said in a statement. “The bank accounts belonging to the UN Designated Persons have not been unfrozen by Pakistan.”

On Sunday, Pakistan’s The News, an English language daily, had said the accounts of Saeed and four associates, Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, Hajji M Ashraf , Yahya Mujahid and Zafar Iqbal, had been “restored after formal approval from UN sanctions committee.”

However, the foreign office has said the financial sanctions on Saeed and his aides, including freezing their bank accounts, remained in place and were being strictly monitored by Pakistani authorities in compliance with UN sanctions.

The UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee had granted “basic expense exemptions” to the designated individuals in 2019, the foreign office said, in accordance with exemption provisions of the relevant UNSC resolutions provided for in the relevant UNSC resolutions.

“The exemptions were granted to allow these individuals to meet their basic expenses and do not involve any restoration or unfreezing of the bank accounts. These exemptions are being enforced and monitored as per law,” the foreign office said. 

King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

Updated 13 August 2020

King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

  • The Saudi king wished the Pakistani president good health and prayed for the prosperity of Pakistani people
  • Saudi envoy in Islamabad also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media

ISLAMABAD: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a message of felicitation to Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday, congratulating him on the 74th Independence Day of his country that will be celebrated on Friday.
The king reached out to the Pakistani head of the state on behalf of his government and people of Saudi Arabia, wishing him good health and praying for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed cordial relations with each other. The Kingdom has been among of the biggest job providers to Pakistanis and the greatest source of foreign remittances for the South Asian nation.
The two countries have also witnessed leadership level exchanges since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government assumed the political leadership of Pakistan. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman undertook a high-profile visit to Islamabad in February 2019, and Prime Minister Imran Khan also went to the Kingdom several times during his tenure in the office.
The Saudi king and ambassadors are also among the first foreign leaders and envoys who have issued the Independence Day messages to congratulate the government and people of Pakistan.