An anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Wednesday convicted chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to 11 years imprisonment in two cases.
He was given with a prison sentence of five and a half years and a fine of Rs15,000 in each case. The sentences of both cases will run concurrently. The court also granted him the benefit of Section 382-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure (reduction of period of sentence of imprisonment). Malik Zafar Iqbal, the secretary of Al-Anfaal Trust, has also been convicted in the same cases and has been awarded similar punishment.
JuD chief was found guilty of being part of a banned terrorist outfit, having illegal property and land grabing, his lawyer told AFP.
During the trial of both cases, the court recorded the statements of 23 witnesses.
The crackdown on JuD last year followed a warning by Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering.
The government had announced a ban on JuD and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF) to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Hafiz Saeed who has several cases pending against him, was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to appear before an anti-terrorism court to seek pre-arrest bail when he was taken into custody.
An official told Saeed had been presented in an anti-terrorism court and sent to prison. He added that the charge sheet against Saeed will be presented soon. The official further said that a case against the JuD chief had been lodged under the anti-terrorism act.
Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the US and UN over his alleged role in the Mumbai attacks. JuD is considered by the US and India to be a front for LeT, the militant group blamed for the attacks.
The arrest is part of the Government of Pakistan’s crackdown against outlawed organisations under the National Action Plan.