Tahlka News Desk
New Delhi: After having been cautious first over Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed's house arrest, the Ministry of External Affairs today said that putting him on terror list by Pakistan was the first logical step towards bringing "the international terrorist to justice".
In response to a question on the listing of Hafiz Saeed under the Anti-Terrorism Act in Pakistan, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "It is a logical first step in bringing them to justice and in ridding our region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism."
Earlier, buckling under international pressure Pakistan had put Hafiz Saeed on nation's terror list on Saturday.
Responding to the development in Pakistan, Vikas Swarup said "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."
Vikas Swarup held Hafiz Saeed responsible for terrorism in Pakistan's neighbourhood. He said, "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/ JuD and their affiliates."
On Saturday, Pakistani authorities had imposed further restrictions on Hafiz Saeed by listing him along with four of his aides under Anti-Terrorism Act.
Hafiz Saeed has been barred from moving freely in Pakistan and speaking to media. The restrictions have been put on Hafiz Saeed by the provincial government of Punjab.
Earlier, Pakistan had placed Hafiz Saeed and his associates under preventive detention at his home on January 30. Hafiz Saeed had been put under the house arrest after 2008-Mumbai terror attacks, in which 166 people were killed. But, the Pakistani authorities failed to produce evidence in the court and he was acquitted by the Lahore High Court.
Interestingly, Jamaat-ud-Dawah headed by Hafiz Saeed has not been banned in Pakistan. The JuD is on the terror watch list. However, the UNSC and the US have declared the JuD and its affiliate the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation as the frontal organisations of the LeT.
After the latest restrictions by the Punjab province government, Hafiz Saeed cannot visit schools, colleges or other educational institutions, parks, hotels, airports, railway stations or other public places, and cannot give interviews or go to TV and raido stations or address public rallies and meetings.
The law enforcement authorities in Pakistan can probe Hafiz Saeed and his family's assets and sources of income.
The associates of Hafiz Saeed put on the terror list are Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Kashif Niazi. They all have also been put on Exit Control List and barred from travelling abroad.
However, proscribed organisation Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat leaders put under similar restrictions in Pakistan have in the past addressed public rallies and even went on the Haj pilgrimage.