NEW DELHI: India on Monday called the listing of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed under the Anti-Terrorist Act by Pakistan, a ‘logical’ first step in ridding the region of the “twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism”.
It has been after months of strain that India and Pakistan are on the same page, at least when it comes to listing the ‘terrorist’, with a $ 10 million US bounty on his head, under Islamabad’s anti-terrorism act.
“Hafiz Saeed is an international terrorist, the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attack and responsible for unleashing wave of terrorism against Pakistan's neighbours through LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba) / JuD and their affiliates,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in response to the new development.
The MEA has also sought international action against Saeed, who earlier as well was put under house arrest, but has frequently been giving anti-India speeches in public rally in Pakistan, his current residential address. “Effective action mandated internationally against him and his terrorist organisations and colleagues is a logical first step in bringing them to justice, and in ridding our region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism," Swarup added.
Pakistan’s Punjab Provincial Government has listed Saeed and four of his aides under the fourth schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act. Besides acknowledging his links with terrorism, the Anti-Terrorism Act list empowers the government to put travel sanctions and scrutinise the assets of the person. Any violation can result in imprisonment of up to three years.
In another positive development between the two arch rivals, the two countries decided to extend the Agreement on Reducing the Risk of Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons. “Both the countries have agreed to extend the Agreement for a further period of five years. The existing validity was up to 20 February 2017,” Swarup added.