The Central Government Friday designated Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed‘s son Talha as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
“Central Government believes that Hafiz Talha Saeed is involved in terrorism and Hafiz Talha Saeed should be notified as a terrorist under the said Act… therefore, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment in the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, namely: In the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, after serial number 31 and the entries relating thereto, the following serial number and entries shall be inserted, namely: 32. Hafiz Talha Saeed,” a gazette notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs read.
Saeed’s son Talha Saeed, 47, serves as the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s second-in-command and controls the finances of the organisation. In 2019, he had escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb inside a refrigerator shop exploded in Lahore.
According to the government notification, Talha is the head of the cleric wing of LeT, which is a proscribed organisation under UAPA.
“Talha Saeed has been actively involved in recruitment, fund collection, planning and executing attacks by LeT in India and Indian interests in Afghanistan… Talha Saeed has been actively visiting various LeT Centres across Pakistan and during his sermons propagating for jihad against India, Israel, United States of America and Indian interests in other western countries,” the notification added.
The Centre had amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, in August 2019 to include the provision of designating individuals as terrorists. Prior to this amendment, only organizations could be classified.
In the first orders under the new Act, the Centre, in September 2019, had declared LeT’s Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, JeM’s Masood Azhar and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists.
Designation as a terrorist helps the government freeze finances and crackdown on networks created by them. Clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the UAPA empowers the Central Government to notify the name of an individual in the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, if it believes that he is involved in terrorism.