Lahore: Inciting the public to raise funds for ‘Jihad’ (holy war) is not allowed to individuals or any organisation in Pakistan and is considered as treason, the Lahore High Court has ruled as it dismissed appeals of two terrorists convicted for raising funds for a proscribed terror outfit.
The court ruling came on Wednesday on the appeals of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists, Muhammad Ibrahim and Ubaidur Rehman, who were arrested in Sargodha, some 200-km from Lahore, and handed down five-year imprisonment each by an anti-terrorism court for terror financing early this month.
“Inciting public to raise funds for Jihad’ is not allowed to individuals or any organisation in an Islamic state (Pakistan) as it is considered treason, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi said while dismissing the appeals.
“It is the job of the state to collect national funds for a declared war, if essential. The same cannot be raised by a person or any organization, it said.
The court said TTP is a defunct and proscribed organisation that has caused damage not only to the state institutions and targeted the state high functionaries but also intensified the wave of terrorism in the country in the past, which would not have been possible without financial support.
Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) has also been convicted of terror financing’ for several years and is serving his sentence at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
The 71-year-old radical cleric and a UN-designated terrorist, whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, has been convicted for 36 years of imprisonment in five terror financing cases.
His punishment is running concurrently. Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The JuD was also involved in raising funds from the people for ‘Kashmir Jihad’.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in the country and using its territory to carry out attacks in India.
Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies also arrested a number of TTP and al-Qaeda terrorists from different parts of the country on the charges of terror financing.