India has officially requested Pakistan to extradite Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. According to Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the foreign ministry, the request was accompanied by relevant supporting documents and conveyed to the Pakistani government.
Hafiz Saeed, who is 71 years old, has been sentenced to 33 years in jail by a Pakistani court after being convicted in two cases of terror financing in April 2022. The cases were filed by Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department. Despite these convictions, Saeed has managed to evade punishment for his alleged involvement in the 26/11 terror strikes. He has faced sentencing in multiple cases related to terror financing in the past and has spent several years in and out of detention in various forms in Pakistan, including periods of house arrest.
India’s extradition request comes at a crucial time, as a political front supported by Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is preparing to participate in the upcoming Pakistan election. Hafiz Talha Saeed, Hafiz Saeed’s son and a leader of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), is one of the candidates. Hafiz Talha Saeed holds the second-highest position in LeT, just below his father. Last year, the Home Ministry designated him as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
It is worth noting that the United States has offered a reward of $10 million for any information leading to the arrest of Hafiz Saeed. Despite this international bounty, he has been able to freely move around in Pakistan while serving as the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an organization that presents itself as a charitable entity but is widely regarded as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The 2008 Mumbai Attacks were a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that occurred in November 2008. These attacks were carried out by 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an extremist Islamist terrorist organization based in Pakistan. Lasting for four days, the attacks targeted various locations in Mumbai, resulting in widespread condemnation from around the world. The attacks commenced on November 26 and continued until November 29, 2008.
In conclusion, India’s recent move to request the extradition of Hafiz Saeed is a significant development in its ongoing efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The outcome of this extradition request is yet to be determined, but it highlights the lasting impact of the attacks and the continued pursuit of justice over a decade later.