US backs Indian move to declare Masood, Saeed as ‘terrorists’


A day after India’s Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification declaring Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba leader ZakiurRehmanLakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists under a new law, the United States on Thursday backed New Delhi’s move.

“We stand [with] India [and] commend it for utilising new legal authorities to designate 4 notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-RehmanLakhvi& Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint US-India efforts to combat scourge of terrorism,” the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs stated in a statement, quoting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells.

A day earlier, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification declaring the four as ‘terrorists’ under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, The Hindu reported.

Hafiz Saeed is already under detention while Lakhvi is out on post-arrest bail. Earlier this year, Pakistan confirmed sanctions on Azhar when the United Nations’ 1267 Sanctions Committee placed him on its global terror list.

In February, Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had warned Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering. Last month, the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering placed Pakistan on its enhanced monitoring list after Islamabad’s performance was found unsatisfactory on three-fourth of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations.

Earlier this year, Hafiz Saeed was booked in more than a dozen cases and arrested on July 17 by counter-terrorism forces in a terror financing case. He is accused by India and Washington of being the mastermind of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, and both have previously declared him a global terrorist with the US announcing a $10 million bounty on his head.source