Pakistan arrested Hafiz Saeed, chief of the outlawed Jamat-ud Dawa, earlier known as Lashkar-e-Taiba, and has remanded him to judicial custody. Saeed is the mastermind behind several terror attacks in India, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Reports from Pakistan indicate he was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab in Pakistan, while travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore and moved to a jail on judicial remand.
Hafiz Saeed is a UN-designated global terrorist and is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The US has announced a bounty of $10 million for providing evidence leading to his conviction. But he has enjoyed active patronage of the military establishment in Pakistan, which freed Hafiz Saeed several times after arresting him in the past.
Earlier this month, the fugitive was arrested along with 12 accomplices in a terror funding case. He is already facing 23 terror-related cases in Pakistan, but Islamabad did not produce any evidence in court.
The arrest comes ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to the US next week.
New Delhi considers Saeed a most wanted terrorist, for his alleged involvement in several secessionist cases in the country, including the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, 2006 Mumbai train bombings and the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament. India had also banned the organizations headed by him – Jamat-ud Dawa and its earlier formation Lashkar-e-Taiba. It has demanded his extradition from Pakistan, but Islamabad refuses to concede, citing “lack of evidence against him”.