Suspected Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed put under terror watchlist

Hafiz Saeed has been accused by India of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which left 164 people dead and hundreds injured. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan Feb 18, 2017, 09.56 AM (IST)

Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed -- who is believed by India to have orchestrated the Mumbai attacks -- has been listed by Pakistan under its anti-terrorism act.

Saeed and his close aide Qazi Kashif have been added under the fourth schedule of Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), Dawn News reported.

According to the fourth schedule, the government may arrest or detain a person for period not exceeding twelve months.

Saeed has also been put under the exit control list by the provincial Punjab government, meaning that he is prohibited from leaving Pakistan.

Pakistan government's decision to include Saeed in the anti-terrorism list will be a shot in the arm for India, who have long insisted fair trial against him for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 164 people and wounded over 200.

The mere listing of a person in the fourth schedule of the ATA shows that he is linked with militancy in some way, the report said. Those listed face a barrage of legal consequences like travel bans and scrutiny of assets etc.

The action against Saeed was taken after the country was hit by at least eight terror attacks which killed more than 100 people. "Detention of Saeed shows that army supported the step by the civilian government, and it was viewed by many as a sign of changing security priorities," the daily said.

Saeed was also put under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009. Saeed also carries a reward of $10 million announced by the US for his role in terror activities.

Three other men were also added to the list -- Abdullah Obaid from Faisalabad, and Zafar Iqbal and Abdur Rehman Abid from the Markaz-i-Taiba, Muridke. 

(WION with inputs from PTI)