Pakistan sentences Lakhvi to five years for terrorism financing

FILE PHOTO: A supporter of Shiv Sena, a Hindu hardline group, holds Pakistan’s national flag and a portrait of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi during a protest against Lakhvi’s release, in New Delhi April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

January 8, 2021

By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Pakistan court on Friday sentenced Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, a senior official of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to five years in jail for terrorism financing.

Lakhvi and the group are accused by India and the United States of being behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks – though the charges or sentence are not related to any specific incident.

He was sentenced to five years concurrently on three counts, with a fine of 100,000 rupees on each count, an order from the court seen by Reuters said.

India has long called on Pakistan to try Lakhvi for the Mumbai attack, in which over 160 people were killed, but Islamabad has said that Delhi has not given it concrete evidence that it can use in a court to try the LeT leader, which it had initially arrested in 2008 but was later released on bail.

He was arrested again on charges of terrorism financing on Saturday.

The United States welcomed his arrest but called for him to be tried for the Mumbai attacks, too.

“We will follow his prosecution & sentencing closely & urge that he be held accountable for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks,” the U.S. State Department said on Twitter.

According to Delhi, the lone surviving gunman of the attack, who was executed in 2012 after sentencing by an Indian court, told interrogators that the assailants were in touch with Pakistan-born Lakhvi, who is said to be LeT’s chief of operations

A U.N. Security Council sanctions committee says Lakhvi is involved in militant activity in a number of other regions and countries, including Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. .

Lakhvi’s lawyer did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

A spokesman for the Counter Terrorism Department said in a statement that Lakhvi had been sent to prison to serve the sentences.

Another man that India says was the mastermind of the Mumbai siege, Hafiz Saeed, was convicted by a Pakistani court on two charges of terrorism financing last year.

Saeed denies involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

(Reporting by Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; editing by John Stonestreet and Giles Elgood)

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Pakistan imposes sanctions on Dawood, Hafiz, Azhar, Lakhvi and 84 others | India News

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: In an apparent attempt to avoid blacklisting by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan has issued a fresh notification proscribing 88 chiefs and members of terrorist groups, including 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and LeT commander and key 26/11 accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, in compliance with the new list issued by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently.
Significantly, the 2020 statutory notification, issued on August 18, mentioned Dawood’s White House address in Karachi in what Indian officials see as the first acknowledgement by Islamabad that the 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind is in Pakistan. While copies of similar notifications in 2015 and 2019 also mentioned the same address, Indian government sources said these statutory resolutions “appeared to be back-dated”.

However, Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs later said that the statutory regulatory orders reflect the current status of the UN Taliban and ISIL (Da’esh) and AQ Sanctions list and are a “routine matter”. It also said the individuals concerned are not named by its national counter-terrorism authority and reports about Pakistan imposing new sanctions measures are “incorrect”.

Looking to downplay the impression that Dawood’s addresses are acceptance of his presence in Pakistan, the statement from Islamabad said, “as to Pakistan admitting to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory, based on the information contained in the SRO, is baseless and misleading”.
Indian officials, however, felt the mention of Dawood’s addresses is not completely inconsequential even if Pakistan will need to take concrete action. “The fresh notification is of little relevance, in the absence of real action against cross-border terrorism, except for the fact they have accepted for the first time Dawood’s base in Karachi,” said asource. The UN listing of Dawood also mentions the same address. India is now expected to press on Dawood’s inclusion in the SRO to demand that he be named under Pakistan’s anti-terror act as “individual terrorist” along with Lakhvi.
A source in India said Lakhvi and Dawood had never been mentioned by Pakistan in any official document till the 2020 statutory resolution. Lakhvi, the “operational commander” of the 26/11 attacks, has been held earlier only to be released due to indifferent court processes in Pakistan where judges and prosecutors have changed frequently.
The action, under pressure of the US and FATF, needs to be followed by prosecution and verifiable measures to restrict funding, said Indian sources, pointing out that terrorists like Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed have been placed under porous house detention that has not prevented them from planning and carrying out attacks in India and elsewhere.
In the 83-page document, addresses of three properties of Dawood were mentioned, including “White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton” in Karachi, “House Nu 37 — 30th Street — Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi” and “palatial bungalow in the hilly area of Noorabad in Karachi”. Dawood’s same addresses were mentioned in the SROs that Pakistan had issued in 2015 and 2019.
Apart from Dawood, the government also announced sanctions on key figures of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), Taliban, Daesh, Haqqani Group, al-Qaeda and others. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government ordered seizure of all movable and immoveable properties of these outfits and individuals and freezing of their bank accounts. These terrorists have been barred from transferring money through financial institutions, purchasing arms and travelling abroad etc.
According to the document, the government ratified a complete ban on all members of the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) hiding in the Pak-Afghan border areas; Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat-ud-Dawa; Mohammad Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammed; Mullah Fazlullah (alias Mullah Radio); Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi; Muhammad Yahya Mujahid; Abdul Hakeem Murad (wanted by Interpol); Noor Wali Mehsud; Fazal Raheem Shah of Uzbekistan Liberation Movement; Taliban leaders Jalaluddin Haqqani, Khalil Ahmad Haqqani and Yahya Haqqani; and Dawood Ibrahim.
The document said leadership of the defunct TTP and other organisations, including LeT; Jaish Muhammed; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; Tariq Geedar group of TTP; Harkatul Mujahedin; Al Rasheed Trust; Al Akhtar Trust; Tanzim Jaish-al Mohajireen Ansar; Jamaat-ul Ahrar; Tanzim Khutba Imam Bukhari; Rabita Trust Lahore; Revival of Islamic Heritage Society of Pakistan; Al-Harmain Foundation Islamabad; Harkat Jihad Al Islami; Islami Jihad Group; Uzbekistan Islami Tehreek; Daesh of Iraq; Emirates of Tanzim Qafqaz working against Russia; and Abdul Haq Uighurs of Islamic Freedom Movement of China have been banned.
Meanwhile, the foreign office said it is the UNSC Taliban Sanctions Committee that deals with sanctions on Taliban and entities and individuals, associated with them. Upon any change by the committee, all states including Pakistan implement these sanctions which include assets freeze, arms embargo and travel ban.
In Video:Pakistan finally admits Dawood Ibrahim lives in Karachi, imposes financial sanctions on gangster

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Pakistan orders against Dawood & Lakhvi not under terror law; may not save it from blacklist: Govt sources | India News

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s action to place sanctions on Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and 26/11 attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Dawood Ibrahim was due to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, government officials said here on Saturday.
However, they added that since Lakhvi and Dawood had merely been slapped by the Pakistan foreign ministry with a statutory regulatory order (SRO) that is not “prosecutable” and not designated as ‘individual terrorists’ under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the threat of being blacklisted will continue to loom when Pakistan’s delivery on the 27-point FATF action plan comes up for review on September 14, followed by the plenary meeting in October.
A source said Pakistan’s decision to finally issue an SRO against Lakhvi and Dawood — who have escaped it all these years — is clearly an attempt to avoid blacklisting due to its failure to adequately deliver on FATF’s action plan. A government source insisted that 2015, 2019 statutory resolutions against Dawood appear to be back-dated. “If these were true then it would have been reflected in FATF records. Lakhvi and Dawood have never been mentioned by Pakistan in any official document till the 2020 statutory resolution,” an officer told TOI.
Pakistan is currently retained on the greylist.
Indian agencies feel Pakistan, notwithstanding its latest action against Dawood and Lakhvi, still faces the prospects of getting blacklisted by FATF in October as what has been issued are only statutory regulatory orders by its foreign ministry, which are not “prosecutable”. What India has been demanding is designating the two as ‘individual terrorists’ under Schedule 4 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA). This will enable registering of a criminal case against them under ATA. LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jaish head Maulana Masood Azhar figure in Schedule 4 of ATA that lists 3,224 individuals.
As for Pakistan‘s SRO listing Ibrahim’s Karachi address, Indian officials said it means little as it only replicates the addresses cited in UNSC order designating him as a global terrorist. “It merely means that it if he is found at the addresses listed by UNSC, he will be taken into custody,” said an officer.
Pakistan has consistently denied the existence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil. Even after UNSC proscribed Dawood and Lakhvi as individual terrorists, Pakistan has so far avoided proscribing them under its anti-terror law.
Lakhvi was the LeT operational commander during the 26/11 attacks and was constantly in touch with the 10-member fidayeen squad as they laid siege at multiple targets including the iconic Taj Hotel in Colaba. He passed on real-time instructions and motivational guidance to the attackers from a control room in Karachi.
Though Lakhvi was arrested after the Mumbai attacks, the trial against him and other accused in the 26/11 attack has progressed at a snail’s pace. In fact, Lakhvi is currently roaming free after being granted bail by the anti-terror court in Rawalpindi.

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