Hafiz Saeed has operated openly across Pakistan despite a $10 million bounty offered for him by the US.
Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed continues to run the affairs of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and wield considerable influence in Pakistan’s legal and political circles despite being arrested on terror financing charges earlier this year.
The latest instance of Saeed using his influence despite being behind bars is in the case of Salahuddin Ayubi, a mentally challenged man who died in police custody last month, according to a report by BBU Urdu.
Ayubi’s father Muhammad Afzal said he had forgiven the three police officials charged with the murder of his son after Saeed intervened in the matter and brokered an agreement.
Despite the fact that he had filed a police report against the three officials, Afzal made a public announcement at a mosque in Gujranwala in Pakistan’s Punjab province last week that he was forgiving the same officials.
Afzal, a follower of Saeed, said he received a message from the JuD leader soon after he filed the FIR against the police officials. “Soon after I was taken to the jail where Hafiz Sahib placed two options before me: either let the policemen face punishment now or leave everything to Allah,” he said. He said he respected Saeed because he was an important member of the JuD and agreed to what was suggested. “I decided to pardon the policemen.”
Under Pakistani laws, the kin of a murdered person can forgive the killers.
Saeed has operated openly across Pakistan despite a $10 million bounty offered for him by the US. The LeT and JuD too have continued their fund-raising and recruitment activities despite pressure from the FATF and Western powers.
Ayubi’s case had gone viral on social media after he stuck out his tongue and made faces at a surveillance camera while breaking into an ATM at Faisalabad in Punjab in august. Police detained him soon after in Rahim Yar Khan but on September 1, it emerged that he had died while in custody.
A murder case was registered against the concerned police station’s chief and two other officials. After the agreement between the police and Ayubi’s father, it was announced that a project to supply natural gas and to build a school and a road would be launched at Afzal’s village. Afzal denied the projects had any relation to the amnesty.