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Hafiz Saeed challenges terror financing case against him in Lahore High Court

File photo of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. | Arif Ali/AFP

Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday challenged terror financing cases against him in the Lahore High Court, Express News reported. He filed the petition along with seven others, and named the federal government, the Punjab government and the Counter Terrorism Department as respondents in the plea.

“The accused are not involved in any activities against the state,” The Express Tribune quoted from the plea. “Accusations by the Indian lobby naming Saeed as the mastermind behind Mumbai attacks are not based on reality.” The plea was filed by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, Amir Hamza, Abdur Rehman Makki, M Yahya Aziz along with four others.

The petition also urged the court to declare the first information report registered against the petitioners as void. It added that Saeed had no associations with the banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al-Qaeda, or any other similar organisations.

On July 3, Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department had registered 23 cases against Saeed and 12 senior leaders of the group, and five proscribed outfits functioning as charity organisations. A day later, India had called Pakistan’s filing of terror charges against Saeed a “cosmetic step” that shows its double standards.

The department said that the cases were registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act in Lahore, Gujranwala, and Multan against the leadership of banned organisations.

The move came after international watchdog Financial Action Task Force had cautioned Pakistan that it had failed to meet two deadlines to complete an action plan on terror financing, and urged Islamabad to meet the October 2019 deadline.

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