Hafiz Saeed sentencing: India says part of Pakistan's international obligations1 min read . Updated: 13 Feb 2020, 08:22 AM IST
- Decision comes ahead of Paris-based FATF plenary
- India considers Saeed mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks
New Delhi: India on Thursday indicated that it was unimpressed by Islamabad’s move to sentence Hafiz Saeed, chief of Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, to 11 years in prison for terror financing, calling it part of the neighbouring country's international obligations.
India also called out Pakistan on the timing of the move, as it comes ahead of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force meeting starting Sunday.
Saeed’s sentencing is part of Islamabad’s “long pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism," India said on Thursday.
In a first reaction to Saeed’s sentencing, a person familiar with the developments said, “The decision has been made on the eve of FATF ( Financial Action Task Force) Plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen."
The FATF will start its plenary on 16 February and consider whether Pakistan has done enough to get off the gray list of countries whose actions are monitored for diverting funds to terror groups or downgrade it to the black list for lack of credible action taken. So far Pakistan has avoided the black list given that it has the support of countries like China, Malaysia, and Turkey.
“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," the person cited above said referring to two terrorist attacks in India.
The first took place in 2008 in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed over a span of 60 hours when 10 terrorists from Pakistan’s LeT group held India’s financial capital to ransom. The second was a terrorist attack on India’s Pathankot Air Force station in 2016.
Given that Saeed’s sentencing was based on his record of financing terrorist groups, it was clear that New Delhi would be dissatisfied with the verdict.
India has been urging Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice for years. Islamabad had made some arrests and detained seven people in 2009 but released them in later months citing lack of evidence. Saeed whom India considers the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks has been detained by Pakistan many times and let off citing lack of proof against him.