New Delhi : Lashkar-e-Taiba’s operations commander and 26/11 attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Friday on terror financing charges, Express Tribune reported.
Lakhvi was arrested by Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department earlier this month on these charges. The UN-designated global terrorist was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead and 300 others injured.
Lakhvi’s arrest and sentencing has come just days ahead of the Financial Action Task Force’s plenary crucial meeting, which will consider Pakistan’s ‘greylist’ status. The LeT operations commander was listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks. He was released from a Pakistani jail in 2015 after spending nearly six years in detention.
The LeT, led by Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and using its territory to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere.
The Paris-based FATF placed Pakistan on the Grey List in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19 pandemic.
ATC Lahore had sentenced Saeed for a collective imprisonment of 36 years in terror finance cases.
He has been in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore since July 2019. There are reports that he is given a ‘VIP protocol’ in jail.
The UN has named 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.