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Hafiz Saeed speaks at a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, April 3, 2015.

The Red Tea Detox

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London — Pakistan has arrested the founding father of a militant group blamed by the US and India for the 2008 Mumbai terror assaults that left greater than 160 folks useless, together with six People. Hafiz Saeed was taken into custody Wednesday whereas travelling to the japanese metropolis of Gujranwala, the place he appeared earlier than a choose on terror finance expenses, in response to a Pakistani counterterrorism spokesman.

His arrest got here simply days forward of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first official go to to Washington to fulfill President Trump.

In June, Khan vowed to crack down on militant teams working in Pakistan amid rising U.S. and worldwide stress.

On the time, the nation’s counterterrorism division stated it had launched 23 circumstances in opposition to Saeed and 12 of his aides for accumulating funds and donations for alleged terrorist actions.

A well-known foe

Saeed based the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group blamed for the Mumbai assaults, however says he hasn’t performed a job within the banned group since 2001. He denies his huge community of some 300 seminaries and colleges, hospitals, a publishing home and ambulance providers is linked to violence or the funding of militant teams.

The U.S. has labelled Saeed a Specifically Designated World Terrorist, and since 2012 has supplied a $10 million reward for data that helps carry him to justice.

Saeed has been arrested earlier than in Pakistan and repeatedly let loose by the nation’s courts, irritating Washington and angering neighbor India. He was most not too long ago launched from custody late in 2017, drawing a rebuke from the State Division in Washington, which stated “the Pakistani authorities ought to guarantee that he’s arrested and charged for his crimes.”

For years Pakistan has confronted worldwide stress to choke-off financing to militant teams allegedly working from its soil.

In 2017 the nation was positioned on a “greylist” by the Monetary Motion Job Power (FATF), a 39-member inter-governmental physique that screens terrorism financing and cash laundering. In October, the FATF will make a ultimate adjudication on whether or not to blacklist Pakistan, a transfer that would isolate the nation from the worldwide economic system.

Regardless of repeatedly pledging motion, Islamabad’s makes an attempt to crack down on terror financing networks and militant teams have been inconsistent.

Troublesome U.S. ties

Khan has indicated that together with his go to to the White Home early subsequent week, he hopes to restore his nation’s usually acrimonious relationship with the U.S.

His journey comes because the Trump administration aggressively pursues a political cope with the Taliban in Pakistan’s neighbor Afghanistan. Observers imagine the almost 18-year battle can be a serious focus of talks between Khan and Mr. Trump after they meet on July 22.

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Khan has publicly sparred with Mr. Trump prior to now and as soon as described a possible assembly with him as a “bitter capsule” to swallow.

On Tuesday, Pakistani Overseas Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated Mr. Trump’s invitation to the Pakistani premier mirrored the “significance of the connection for each side.”

Relations between Islamabad and Washington have been turbulent since Mr. Trump took workplace in 2017, with the U.S. chief ceaselessly singling out Pakistan for failing to rein in extremists and being an untrue companion within the combat in opposition to them.

Final yr, Mr. Trump accused Islamabad of “nothing however lies & deceit, considering of our leaders as fools,” and suspended $300 million in navy assist to the Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan refutes the accusations and notes that its alliance with the U.S. within the so-called “battle on terror” has price 1000’s of civilian lives in militant assaults on Pakistani soil.

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