India on Thursday expressed scepticism over the efficacy of the conviction of Hafiz Saeed, the founder and patron of the banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), by a Pakistani court ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting. Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, on Wednesday was sentenced to five-and-a-half years jail by a Lahore anti-terrorism court. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on Saeed in two cases related to terror funding. However, the combined 11 years of jail term in both the cases will run concurrently, thus reducing the sentence to only five and a half years.
According to top official sources, the government views the conviction as a "part of a long-pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism". However, the government has taken note of the fact that the decision has been made on the eve of the FATF plenary meeting. Hence the government is not sure about the "efficacy of this decision," a source said.
"The Modi government will also watch whether Pakistan would take action against all other terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control," the sources said.
Hafiz Saeed's conviction an important step towards holding LeT accountable: US
Meanwhile, the United States has welcomed the conviction of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and called it an important step towards holding the Lashkar-a-Taiba (LeT) accountable.
"Today’s conviction of Hafiz Saeed and his associate is an important step forward – both towards holding LeT accountable for its crimes, and for Pakistan in meeting its international commitments to combat terrorist financing," Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said it is in the interest of his country's future that it does not allow non-state actors to operate from its soil, Wells said in a tweet.
Wells' tweet came after a court in Pakistan sentenced Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist, for five and half years.
India for long has been asking Pakistan to bring perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks, including Mumbai and Pathankot, to justice expeditiously.
Saeed-led Jamatud Dawa is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.