Pakistan Sentences Anti-India Group Leader Hafiz Saeed to 31 Years

According to his lawyer, a Pakistani court sentenced Hafiz Saaed, a militant leader linked to the Mumbai terrorist attacks, to 31 years in prison on terror financing charges.

This is the latest sentence for Saeed, who was arrested in 2019. In a separate case the following year, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on terror financing charges.

The US Justice Department designated Saeed as a terrorist, and a $10 million bounty was placed on his head, but he was never charged in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people.

Under a government order, he has been serving his 15-year sentence at home. Saeed’s lawyer, Naseeruddin Nayyar, stated that he has the right to appeal the latest sentence.

Saeed is the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist organization, which was blamed for the Mumbai attacks. For years, the group was active in Kashmir’s Himalayan region, which is divided between Pakistan and India but is fully claimed by both.

Following his arrest, the Pakistani government seized Saeed’s vast network of mosques, schools, seminaries, and charities, as well as his other assets in the country. Under Pakistani law, unless a sentence is overturned or reduced on appeal, Saeed must serve them consecutively.

After the 2008 attack on India’s financial hub, relations between Pakistan and India deteriorated. Since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, rival South Asian powers have fought three wars, two of which have been fought over Kashmir.

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