Amid mounting global pressure on Pakistan to act against Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and entities linked to him, a UN Security Council team will visit the country this week for an assessment of Islamabad's compliance with the world body's sanctions regime.
The two-day visit of the UN Security Council's sanctions monitoring team will begin on Thursday. "The monitoring team of the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee will be here on January 25 and 26," a senior Pakistani official was quoted as saying by Dawn.
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The UN monitoring team's visit is taking place amid increasing pressure on Pakistan from the US and India with respect to the inadequate implementation of the sanctions on Saeed and entities linked to him.
However, Pakistani officials, insist that the trip is a routine visit. Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
On Friday, the US State Department said it has told clearly to Islamabad that Saeed is a "terrorist" and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, reacting strongly to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's remarks that there was no case against the Mumbai attack mastermind.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: "He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a designated foreign terror organisation." "We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Nauert had said.
Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November. The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
"The terms of reference of the monitoring team for Pakistan visit are not publicly known, but as per its general mandate it assists the 1267 Committee in keeping an eye on the freezing of the financial assets of listed persons and entities and checking provision of training and other material to them and their travel," the paper said.
The UNSC monitoring team intimates instances of non-compliance to the committee through its reports. At the same time it also advises and assists member states on implementation of the regime. Pakistan has remained under the Financial Action Task Force scanner over allegations by the US and India about the UNSC sanctions not being fully implemented, the paper said.
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.