New Delhi: India declares Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman, and Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.
The latest amendment in the UAPA Act now empowers the Indian government to designate individuals as terrorists, whereas previously only organizations or groups could be declared as terrorists. The Indian governmental bodies may now arrest the named individuals, seize their assets, and prohibit them from leaving the country.
The US Bureau of South and Central Asian affairs has commended India’s latest amendment by stating:
“We stand with India and commend it for utilizing new legal authorities to designate four notorious terrorists: Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim. This new law expands possibilities for joint US-India efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism,” said in a tweet.
These developments came right after FATF’s warning to Pakistan to ensure the elimination of terror financing and money laundering. The financial body has asked Pakistan to adopt stringent policies to combat illicit money transfers.
Earlier this year, Hafiz Saeed was booked in more than a dozen cases and arrested in July by counter-terrorism forces in a terror-financing case.
Hafiz Saeed is an accused orchestrator of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. Both the US and India have earlier declared him a terrorist under their respective laws. The United States has also placed a reward of $10 million over his head.
Masood Azhar is already a UN-designated terrorist. As in May, China removed its objection of blocking Azhar’s name to be declared as a terrorist. The move took place after the Pulwama attack in India, JeM took the responsibility of that attack which killed Indian paramilitary soldiers.