US President Donal Trump lauded Pakistan’s arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed hours after Saeed was taken into custody by Punjab’s Counter-Terrorism Department.
India and Washington have accused Saeed of being the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
CTD personnel arrested him earlier in the day while he was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala. Party spokesperson Nadeem Awan confirmed the arrest to SAMAA Digital on Wednesday.
Without naming Saeed, Trump tweeted that the ‘mastermind’ behind the Mumbai attacks had been arrested in Pakistan after a 10-year search.
After a ten year search, the so-called “mastermind” of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019
Trump’s tweet comes four days before Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden visit to the White House, amid hopes the trip will repair relations between the two countries. The premier will be going to the US on July 22.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has frequently singled out Islamabad for failing to rein in extremists and being an unfaithful partner in the fight against militants.
On July 3, the CTD booked top leaders of the JuD in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The cases were registered in Lahore, Multan, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi.
Saeed was presented Wednesday afternoon before a Gujranwala ATC. He was sent to jail on seven-day judicial remand. The CTD had initially requested a 14-day remand.
Pakistan is facing a potential blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force – an anti-money-laundering monitor based in Paris – for failing to do enough to combat terror financing.
The organisation is set rule on the country’s fate in the coming months after placing it on a watchlist last year.
In February, Pakistani authorities banned Saeed’s JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) – charities that have long been considered fronts for militant activity.
Washington and New Delhi have long urged Pakistan to take action against LeT, which was banned by Islamabad in 2002 but re-branded itself as JuD and FIF.
And earlier this year, Pakistan arrested more than 100 suspected militants and shuttered hundreds of religious schools.