Lahore: In a move which shows Pakistan’s commitment to root out terrorism and terror-financing, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore convicted three members of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) in a new case of terror financing registered by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
Conviction comes as Pakistan speed up efforts as FATF prepares to review Pakistan’s case in coming months. Pakistan hopes to manage to to come out of grey list on the basis of steps it has taken against the terrorist groups.
ATC-III Presiding Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar announced the verdict against Prof Malik Zafar Iqbal, Hafiz Abdul Salam and Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki in FIR No 91/2019.
All of them were charged under sections 11-F (2)(5)(6), 11-H (2), 11-H (3)(a)(b), 11-J(2), 11-N of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The court awarded a collective imprisonment of 16-and-a-half years to Iqbal and Salam while one-and-a-half-year jail term to Makki.
As per detail, Iqbal and Salam were been given one-and-a-half years imprisonment under section 11-F (6) and five years each under sections 11-N read with sections 11-I (2)(b), 11-H and 11-J of the ATA, 1997 along with a fine Rs170,000 on each while Makki has been punished under section 11-F (6) only with a fine of Rs 20,000.
According to Dawn, the prosecution said that a property measuring 16 marla in district Vehari was transferred in the name of Al-Hamad Trust, which is a proscribed organisation. The property remained under the use and possession of the suspects, now convicts, being members of the proscribed organisation, which was a subsidiary of Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, also a proscribed organisation.
It alleges that the property in question has been used to achieve terrorism objectives and by using this property the trust raised fund for the purpose of terrorism and support the terrorism financing.
The court in its verdict ruled that the property in question namely Madressah Markaz Al-Tauheed, Ahle-i-Hadees, is forfeited in favour of the state under section 11-Q of the ATA, 1997.
It observed that the convicts were not proscribed persons and were not enlisted in the fourth schedule of the ATA, however, the organisation they belonged to was proscribed one.
The Lahore High Court has already suspended sentences of Makki and Salam in another FIR of similar charges.
JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has also been convicted for jail terms in two of the FIRs.
The CTD had registered 23 FIRs against the leaders of the JuD in different cities of Punjab. However, the trial in several cases was transferred to Lahore following an order passed by the high court on the petitions of the suspects.