India on Moday said that the Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed is an international terrorist and strict action must be taken against him and his terrorist organisation by the international community. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “Hafiz Saeed is responsible for unleashing a wave of terrorism against Pakistan’s neighbours through Lashkar e Toiba, JuD and their affiliates and the wave of terror they have unleashed has caused mayhem and huge loss of life. Further voicing its views on the terrorist, MEA said that effective action is mandated internationally against him and his terrorist organisations and colleagues and acting on this is a logical fact that Pakistan has finally woken up to.
It is a logical first step in bringing them to justice, & in ridding our region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism: MEA
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 20, 2017
“It is a logical first step in bringing them to justice, and in ridding our region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism,” the statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said a day after Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif asserted that Saeed and his organisation’s case poses a serious threat to society at large. While addressing a press conference, Asif had said, “Terrorism is not synonymous to any religion. Terrorists aren’t Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. They are terrorists, they are criminals.”
Pakistan’s Punjab government has listed Saeed and one of his closest aides Qazi Kashif in the fourth schedule of the Anti-terrorism Act (ATA). Apart from Saeed and Qazi, three other men were also included in the list – Zafar Iqbal and Abdur Rehman Abid from the Markaz-i-Taiba and Abdullah Obaid from Faisalabad.
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Saeed and the four men added to the list of ATA were also barred from moving freely in Pakistan and speaking to media. The government has placed them under house arrest on January 30 in Lahore. The Pakistan government had on January 30 put them under preventive detention Act after 2008 – Mumbai terror attack that killed more than 150 people. However, Saeed could not be sentenced as the Pakistani authorities failed to produce evidence in the Lahore High Court. Pakistan has been sheltering Saeed despite repeated handing over of clinching evidence by India that prove his culpability in various acts of terror directed against neighbouring countries.