Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed allowed to withdraw money to meet his ‘basic needs’
Lashker-e-Taiba chief and 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed can now withdraw Rs 1.5 lakh (in Pakistan rupees) a month from his bank accounts in Pakistan, “frozen” by virtue of his being designated as a UN-designated ‘global terrorist’, to meet basic expenses of his family.
The United Nations Security Council 1267 committee concerning ISIL, al-Qaida and associated individuals has allowed a plea by Pakistan government to this effect after no objections were raised from the member states.
In its appeal to UNSC panel, Pakistan government said it had received a request from Hafiz Saeed, “who has worked as assistant professor in University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore..and drawing a pension of (PKR) 45,700 through his bank account”, to let him withdraw PKR 1.5 lakh every month to cover his basic expenses on food, medical care and school fees of his three children aged 10, 8 and 6 years.
The chair approved the appeal after no objections were raised to Pakistan government’s appeal.
UNSC resolution 1452 allows exemptions for globally-designated terrorists to access their ‘frozen’ bank accounts for meeting basic expenses. As per UNSCR 1452, the provisions of 1267 relating to freezing of funds do not apply to funds and assets determined by the relevant State or States to be necessary for basic expenses including payments for foodstuffs, rent, mortgage, medicines, medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums and public utility charges, etc.
UNSCR 1267, under which Saeed has been declared as a ‘global terrorist’, bars designated terrorists from accessing funds for terror activities, foreign travel and from possessing or acquiring arms.
Pakistan had earlier raised the matter of allowing Saeed to access his funds for basic expenses before the Financial Action Task Force in February and June 2019. Islamabad thereafter moved an application on behalf of Saeed and 4 other UN-designated terrorists before UNSC.
The 5 terrorists are among 100 UN-designated individuals believed to be based in Pakistan but not yet located. The ones ‘missing’ include Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Asghar.
Indian agencies, reacting to the UNSC committee’s move to allow Pakistan’s plea for allowing Saeed’s basic expenses, wondered how he was sustaining himself and his family for past 11 years since he was designated in 2008.
Source: India Times