UN committee allows Hafiz Saeed to draw Rs150,000

Updated 27 Sep 2019

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The sanctions committee of the UN Security Council has allowed Pakistan to let Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed use his bank account for personal expenses. — AFP/File
The sanctions committee of the UN Security Council has allowed Pakistan to let Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed use his bank account for personal expenses. — AFP/File

NEW YORK: The sanctions committee of the UN Security Council has allowed Pakistan to let Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed use his bank account for personal expenses.

Mr Saeed is a UN-designated global terrorist. The US Department of Treasury has also declared him a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and has since 2012, offered a $10 million reward for his arrest.

The committee that deals with such matters informed Pakistan’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations that Hafiz Saeed can use his bank account for ‘basic expenses’ to help his family.

The committee said in its letter that “with no objections being raised” to Mr Saeed’s request and “the Chair has approved the appeal.”

Two other people who also sought similar concession from the committee are Haji Mohammed Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal. The committee also approved their appeals.

Pakistan froze Saeed’s bank accounts in compliance with a UNSC resolution seeking such a ban.

According to the letter, Mr Saeed can withdraw Rs150,000 to cover necessary basic living expenses for him and his family. UNSC resolution 1452 allows exemptions for globally designated terrorists to access their ‘frozen’ bank accounts for meeting basic expenses.

As per UNSCR 1452, the freezing of order does not apply to funds and assets determined by the relevant State or States to be necessary for basic expenses such as foodstuffs, rent, mortgage, medicines, medical treatment and utility bills.

Members of the Pakistani media received a copy of the letter from Pakistani diplomatic sources. It’s not clear why these sources decided to release the letter a day before the prime minister’s address to the UN General Assembly in which he is expected to forcefully raise the Kashmir issue.

As expected, the letter has been played up by the Indian media.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2019