Sunday, September 29, 2019

US welcomes UN's decision to allow JuD chief Hafiz Saeed to use bank account

UN has allowed Hafiz Saeed to withdraw approximately $1,000 for personal expenses

S Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells. Photo: File 

NEW YORK: The United States has welcomed United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) decision to allow Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed to use his bank account for personal expenses, saying it shows that Islamabad is working towards accountability for its counter-terrorism efforts as part of its commitments at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“It’s counter-intuitive, but this is actually a positive step,” US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said.

“Countries are required under the obligations of the listings that for any UN-designated individuals, you account for whatever money flow is permitted, such as the family expenses of Hafiz Saeed,” Wells said. “So actually having these submissions indicates a level of transparency and a key requirement of FATF.”

"We welcome this step," she added.

Earlier this week, the UNSC allowed Saeed, to draw money from his bank account for basic expenses.

According to reports, Pakistan had approached UNSC with a request to let the JuD chief to use his bank account for personal expenses.

“The Chair has the honour to refer to his draft letter to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan communicating the Committee’s decision with respect to the intention of the Pakistani authorities to authorize certain expenditures to the benefit of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to cover basic expenses,” a note by the chair said.

Reports further said UN has allowed Saeed to withdraw approximately $1,000 to cover necessary basic living expenses for him and his family.

On July 17, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested Saeed while he was travelling from Gujranwala from Lahore. He was taken into custody as part of the government's crackdown against banned organizations under the National Action Plan.