Hafiz Saeed’s brother-in-law and JuD leader Makki arrested over hate speech

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LAHORE: The Punjab government has detained Naib Emir of the banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) organisation, Abdul Rehman Makki, along with another senior leader Mohammad Shahbaz after the police believed their activities posed a threat to peace and tranquillity in the country.

The action was taken after the JuD senior leaders in their speeches criticised the government’s action against outfits to comply with the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

An official privy to the information said that the detention order of Makki and Shahbaz were issued by Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance. The police detained them for 90 days and sent them to the Camp Jail, he said.

The official said Makki is the brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed and he was detained from Lahore along with his senior fellow.

It is stated that hewas arrested over hate speech and for criticizing steps taken by the Pakistan government to crackdown on militant groups and affiliated charities, local media reported.

Makki is the head of JuD’s political and international affairs wing and in-charge of the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) charity. In February, Pakistan had banned both JuD and FIF over their links with Saeed, the alleged founder of the Lashkar e Taiba militant group that India blames for an attack in its financial hub of Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed.

The US government has also previously offered a $2 million award for information leading to the location of Makki, whom it says was the second in command of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Pakistan is facing pressure from global powers to act against groups accused of carrying out attacks in India, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which claimed responsibility for a February 14 attack that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir. This month, a UN Security Council committee blacklisted the head of the JeM, Masood Azhar, subjecting him to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze.

In March, Pakistan began a major crackdown on Islamist militant groups, announcing it had taken control of 182 religious schools and detained more than 100 people. Last week, the government banned 11 more charities linked with JuD, FIF and JeM.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and in 2012 offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.