In a veiled reference to India’s intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Pakistani authorities responsible for countering terrorism have asked the home department of the Punjab province to beef up security for the detained mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks Hafiz Saeed, claiming that a plan was hatched by a “foreign spy agency” to kill him through members of a banned militant outfit.
Saeed is currently being kept at his residence, in Johar town, Lahore.
According to official sources, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA), Pakistan’s internal counter-terrorism authority, has sent a letter to Lahore-based home department of Punjab, claiming that a “foreign spy agency” had paid Rs 80 million to two activists of a proscribed militant group to kill Saeed.
NCTA was formed in 2009 and has been mandated to devise a counter-terrorism strategy to address short, medium and long-term goals for security challenges faced by Pakistan besides plans for their implementation.
It asked the home department to ensure strict security measures in the surroundings of Saeed’s Lahore residence, which has been declared a prison for him by the Punjab’s government.
Saeed was put under house arrest earlier this year. His banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a front for terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had launched the Milli Muslim League this year in August, but the Election Commission of Pakistan had rejected to register it as a political party.
In 2012, the US had announced a $10 million bounty for information leading to Saeed’s arrest+ and conviction. Following his arrest, the JuD had started its activities under the banner of Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu & Kashmir, but last July it was also declared a banned outfit and was added to the list of proscribed organisations by the home ministry.