Glasglow [Scotland], November 20 (ANI): Asserting that the arrest of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed is nothing but an "eyewash", human rights activist Amjad Ayub Mirza has said that if Pakistan is "sincere in getting rid of its terrorists then it should hand them over to India".
Speaking on his online channel "The Hot Issue", the activist said, "This is not the first time that he has been arrested in Pakistan. Each time when the global pressure on Pakistan increases, Pakistan puts such people in prison which is like a 5-star hotel treatment and then they wait for the world opinion to wither away and they free them again."
He further said that there are more than 50 wanted fugitives hiding or living in Pakistan. "Pakistan gives these fugitives sanctuary because the military and ISI agency give them protection as they use them as their proxies against India."
"I think this arrest of Hafiz Saeed is just an eyewash. If Pakistan is sincere in getting rid of its terrorists then it should hand them over to India. It should also stop the cross-border firing from the LoC which is causing havoc on the border areas because people living in the villages are targeted unnecessarily," Mirza said, who is from Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and is living in exile in the UK.
"Pakistan thrives on communal politics. By hating the other community, they create their own identity because in itself Pakistan has no identity whatsoever apart from being a so-called Islamic state carved out of the Indian subcontinent as a homeland for Muslims," he said.
"The fact remains that there are around more Muslims living peacefully in India than the total population of Pakistan. So, Saeed's arrest means nothing unless it is backed up by more actions against terrorism in Pakistan," he added.
A Lahore anti-terrorism court on Thursday (November 19) sentenced HafizSaeed to more than 10-year imprisonment in two terror-financing cases.
According to sources, the Counter-Terrorism Department officials are treating Hafiz Saeed as a VIP.
Saeed is still roaming in his SUV escorted by his aides, they said.
He was slapped 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 the 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, the Dawn reported.
They were convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act Section 11-F(2) -- pertaining to membership, support and meetings relating to a proscribed organisation -- and 11-N (punishment under Sections 11-H to 11-K).
The court also ordered that Saeed's properties be confiscated.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief was arrested on July 17, 2019, at the Kamoke toll plaza, about 50 km north of Lahore. The US has placed a USD10 million bounty on the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed.The court has ordered their properties to be seized.
The counter-terrorism department has registered 41 cases against the JuD leaders.
Back in July, the top 13 members of the JuD, including Saeed, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.
Subsequently, Saeed was arrested from Gujranwala on charges of terror financing by the Punjab Counterterrorism Department (CTD). (ANI)