In an unexpected move, 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has filed a petition at UN requesting to drop his name from Security Council list of designated terrorists. A Lahore based legal firm Mirza and Mirza has confirmed of processing the de-listing request at the world body.
Hafiz Saeed’s move was unveiled immediately after his release from house arrest after ten months of detention. However, the legal firm says that the petition was submitted before his release.
A review board of Lahore High Court had recently refused to accept government’s plea to extend the house arrest. Islamabad told the court that his release will cause further rise in tension with India. The court said enough evidences were not brought to its knowledge for extending his custody.
According to a New Delhi based newspaper, Barrister Haider Rasul Mirza has said, “I cannot give details of the petition. I don’t have the permission of my client to speak on this.”
Hafiz Saeed was put in the UNSC terror list on December 10, 2008 in less than a fortnight of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which continued for three days, killing 166 people and injuring hundreds others.
The newspaper which has claimed of seeing operative parts of the petition reports Mirza saying, “I have been engaged by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (“the petitioner”), to submit on his behalf this de-listing request for the removal of his name from the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions list being maintained by the United Nations Security Council’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, pursuant to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions…”
The UNSC states that Hafiz Saeed was proscribed for “being associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (QDe.118) and Al Qaida (QDe.004) for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of both entities.”
The United Nations had banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in May 2005. The US has also designated Saeed as a terrorist and has put a $10 million bounty on his head.
Reacting to Saeed’s release, Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs had told, “It appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible for all to see… India, as indeed the entire international community, is outraged that a self-confessed and UN-proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue his evil agenda.’’
Meanwhile, US had warned Pakistan of “repercussions for bilateral relations” if Saeed was not re-arested and charged.
Despite such a major development, most of the Pakistani media choose not to cover Hafiz Saeed’s petition at UN.