Pakistan Interior Ministry has included Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s name on the Exit Control List along with 37 others who are affiliated with JuD or Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Ministry sent letters to all the provincial governments and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
This move which restricts the 38 terrorists from leaving Pakistan comes two days after Saeed along with four others Zafar Iqbal, Qazi Kashif Niaz, Abdullah Ubaid and Abdur Rehman Abid were placed under house arrest.
Geo TV quoted a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, “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).”
The ministry said, “Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz are reportedly active members of the aforementioned organisations within the meaning of Section 11EEE(1) of the ATA 1997 (as amended). As such, they must be placed under preventive detention.”
Hours after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar indicated that a crackdown was about to happen the detention order was issued.
However, Saeed told reporters that he would challenge the detention in court. “My detention orders are unlawful and we will challenge them in the court.”
Saeed has been placed under a 90-day house arrest. Sources said the Trump administration gave pressure to Islamabad to take action against Saeed and his organisations.
He was also placed under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but in 2009 he was freed by the court.
A Pakistan-based political analyst Dr. Shahid Masood alleged that Saeed was put under house arrest as he is facing threat from terror group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which operates from Afghanistan.
In a Pakistani news channel, Dr. Masood said TTP was planning to send its men and activated slipper cells in Sindh and Punjab province in Pakistan to target Saeed.
Pakistani security agencies intercepted some calls and messages from Afghanistan which hinted that the JuD chief may be targeted and possibly he was placed under house arrest for this and also his security has tightened.
India reacted cautiously to the report of Saeed’s detention. External Affairs Ministry official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said only a credible crackdown on Saeed and other terrorist organisations will prove the sincerity of Pakistan.
“We have also noted that Hafiz Saeed and four others have been placed under preventive detention. Exercises such as yesterday’s orders against Hafiz Saeed and others have been carried out by Pakistan in the past also. Only a credible crack down on the mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attack and terrorist organisations involved in cross-border terrorism would be proof of Pakistan’s sincerity.”
JuD is the front for the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba and it is responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The US in June 2014 has already declared it a foreign terrorist organisation.