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Hafiz Saeed's Plea for Removal of Terrorist Tag Junked by UN, Pak Did Not Oppose It: Govt Sources

Hafiz Saeed's request was opposed by India as well as other countries that had originally listed him - US, UK and France, officials said.

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Updated:March 7, 2019, 9:14 PM IST
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New Delhi: The United Nations has rejected an appeal by 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed to remove his name from its list of banned terrorists, government sources said on Thursday.

The decision comes at a time when UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based JeM claimed responsibility for the strike.

The UN decision to reject appeal of Saeed, also a co-founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), came after India provided detailed evidence including "highly confidential information" about his activities, sources told PTI, adding that the verdict of the global body was conveyed to his lawyer Haider Rasul Mirza earlier this week.

Saeed's request was opposed by India as well as other countries that had originally listed him - US, UK and France, officials said.

Significantly, Pakistan did not oppose the appeal despite claims by the new Imran Khan-led government there that it was taking action against the banned terrorists and their organisations.

This despite Pakistan announcing a ban on Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation in February last week. The ban was implemented on Tuesday.

Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation Jammat--ud-Dawa (JuD), was banned on December 10, 2008 by the United Nations Security Council after the horrific Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.

Saeed had filed an appeal with the UN through Lahore-based law firm Mirza and Mirza in 2017, while he was still under house arrest in Pakistan, for removal of the ban.

Independent Ombudsperson Daniel Kipfer Fasciati, appointed by the UN to examine all such requests, has informed Saeed's lawyer that it has been decided following examination of his request that that he will "continue as a listed individual", sources said.

The Ombudsperson recommended that after gathering all information, it has been decided to continue with the ban as "there was sufficient information to provide a reasonable and credible basis for continuing the listing," sources said, adding the recommendation was endorsed by the UN's Sanctions Committee.

Last month, the US, the UK and France made a fresh bid at the UN to ban JeM head Masood Azhar, who is also residing in Pakistan as per Pakistani foreign minister's admission. JeM is already a UN-designated terrorist organisation.

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