A senior leader, Abdul Rehman Makki, of Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) headed by Hafiz Saeed was arrested by Pakistani authorities for inciting hatred and using defamatory language against authorities. This follows the government’s recent countrywide crackdown on banned militant groups.
The JuD and its affiliated Falah-e-Insaniat (FiF) charity group are also designated terror organizations in the US and United Nations. Sources say Pakistani militant groups have reportedly collected donations under the guise of religion and welfare for the poor. However, these groups use the money to fund terrorism in the region.
Makki’s arrest comes after he harshly denounced the government’s action against religious groups in a public gathering. Sources say, he also condemned the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for putting Pakistan on notice to take measure against terror financing in the country.
Experts in Pakistan consider Makki’s arrest as a ‘big development’. Makki is FiF’s chief and monitor’s JuD’s political and international affairs wings. He is also believed to be the organization’s second-in-command after the founder, Hafiz Saeed who has a US bounty of $10 million on him since 2002.
Moreover, JuD is also the face of Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), which the US has designated as a terror group. Founded in the 1980s, the objective of LeT is to liberate Kashmir from India and merge it with Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities describe Makki’s arrest as a message for terror groups in the wake of FATF’s growing pressure on the country to take action against terror financing and money laundering.
FATF had placed Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ in 2018 because of alleged inadequate measures against terror financing and money laundering. The global terror watchdog is expected to review Pakistan’s progress in cracking down on those offences in June.