Islamabad: Pakistan has placed Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on the Exit Control List, two days after the 26/11 attacks mastermind and his four aides were put under house arrest, preventing the five from leaving the country.
Pakistan has also asked India to come up with “concrete evidence” against Saeed “if it was serious about its allegations against him”.
“If indeed India is serious about its allegations, it should come up with concrete evidence against Hafiz Saeed which is sustainable in court of law in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere in the world,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson said, adding mere casting aspersions and leveling allegations without any corroborating evidence would not help the cause of peace in the region.
The official said that various actions that needed to be taken under the relevant resolution i.e arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze were not carried out for some reasons by the previous governments.
Meanwhile in United States’ first reaction on Saeed’s arrest, a State Department spokesperson told CNN-News18, “We are aware of reports that Hafiz Saeed is under house arrest in Pakistan. We would refer you to the government of Pakistan for more information.”
India had said that it was not impressed by Saeed’s detention and only a “credible crackdown” on terror outfits, including Saeed’s, will prove Pakistan’s sincerity as such actions had been taken against him in the past too.
Meanwhile, the ministry placed Saeed’s name among 38 others on the Exit Control List. It has forwarded a letter to all provincial governments and the Federal Investigation Agency, which included names of all 38 individuals placed on the ECL. All of them were said to be affiliated with JuD or Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Saeed, Ubaid, Iqbal, Abid and Niaz are reportedly active members of the aforementioned organizations within the meaning of Section 11EEE(1) of the ATA 1997 (as amended),” read a notification issued by the Interior Ministry. “As such, they must be placed under preventive detention.”
The Ministry of Interior had “placed Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa (JUD) on the Watch List as per UNSC 1267 Sanctions and have listed these organisations in the Second Schedule of the ATA 1997 (as amended).”
Saeed has been placed under a 90-day house arrest. There have been reports that Islamabad has immense pressure from the new Donald Trump administration in the US to take action against Saeed and his organisations.
Saeed was also put under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.