Ensure Hafiz Saeed's 'Full Prosecution' And 'Expeditious Trial', Says United States to Pakistan
File image of 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Washington, December 12: The US has asked Pakistan to ensure a "full prosecution" and "expeditious trial" of Hafiz Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD), in line with its international obligations. The US reaction came hours after an anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Wednesday indicted Saeed and three of his top aides Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal on terror financing charges. "We welcome the indictment of Hafiz Saeed and his associates," Alice G Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, tweeted.

Wells also said the US calls for a full prosecution and expeditious trial in line with its international obligations. "We call for Pakistan to ensure a full prosecution and expeditious trial in line with its international obligations to counter terrorist financing and bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks like 26/11 to justice," she said.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore indicted Saeed, Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal. The indictment comes amidst growing international pressure on Pakistan to rein-in terror groups operating from its soil and bring to justice terror group leaders like Saeed.

In October, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned Pakistan that it will be blacklisted if it does not control terror funding by February next, voicing serious concern over the country's failure to deliver on most of its 27 targets.

The Paris-based international terror financing watchdog issued the warning to Pakistan while deciding to again place the country on the 'Grey List'. On the 11th anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it is an affront to the 166 innocent victims and their families that the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack have still not been convicted.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice. Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.