Chief of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) Hafiz Saeed and his six senior aides on Friday challenged the charges of terror financing and money laundering against them in a top Pakistani court here.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police on July 3 registered 23 FIRs against 13 leaders of the JuD including its chief Saeed on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province.
Despite the Punjab Police's claim that all those nominated in the terror financing FIRs will be arrested, no action has been taken against them so far.
On Friday Saeed, who is reportedly living at his Jauhar Town residence in Lahore, challenged these FIRs in the Lahore High Court (LHC). Saeed and other six JuD leaders made the federal and the Punjab governments, and CTD respondents in the case.
"Hafiz Saeed and other (petitioners) are not members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as per the (earlier) judgement of the LHC. The petitioners have no nexus with LeT or Al-Qaeda. They belong to the JuD and they are not involved in any terrorist activity and they are only working for social welfare like 'Edhi' and more than that they are also educating the poor and the needy," the petition said.
"The Indian lobby made allegations against them (Saeed and others) that they are involved in Mumbai attacks but there is no such evidence or even any linkage born out from the said documents against the petitioners. There is no evidence that the petitioners are involved in ant-state activities and security risk," it said.
The petitioners prayed to the LHC to declare that they (petitioners) are not linked with the LeT and therefore the CTD's FIRs be declared illegal.
The CTD said it booked Saeed and his 12 aides for "terror financing" in 23 cases after finding "irrefutable evidence" against them.
The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets or properties made and held in the names of Trusts or Non Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.
The CTD said investigation launched into financing matters of proscribed organisations--JuD and LeT--in connection with implementation of UN Sanctions against these designated entities and persons as directed by the NSC (National Security Committee) in its January 1 meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementing the National Action Plan.
"These suspects made assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in anti terrorism courts for commission of these offences," the CTD said.
Deputy JuD chief Abdul Rehman Makki, MaliK Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem Sh, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Dr Ahmad Daud, Dr Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali and Abdul Ghaffar are other suspects.
Makki is logded in the Camp Jail Lahore on the charges of making hate speech. The other suspects reported to have been hiding since the government took over over the properties of these organisations.