A move that is sure to cause an uproar in India, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 sanctions committee has allowed payment of Pakistani Rs 1.5 lakh a month to 26/11 Mumbai attack planner and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Lakhvi has been listed as a terrorist by the UN under the 1267 committee after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which killed 166 people and injured over 300 others.
The monthly payment to Lakhvi will cover expenses relating to food, medicines, public utility charges, lawyer fee and transportation. The anti-terror committee of the UN Security Council granted permission for basic expenses to Lakhvi after the Imran Khan government reportedly approached the panel.
The committee also approved Pakistan’s request for monthly payment to sanctioned nuclear scientist Mahmood Sultan Bashiruddin. He founded and served as director of UN-listed entity Ummah Tameer-e-Nau.
Bashiruddin, who worked for Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Commission, had also met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Both the US and UN sanctioned Bashiruddin and the radical Ummah Tameer-e-Nau in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. He now lives freely in Pakistan.
This is not the first time that such a request has been cleared by the UNSC for designated individuals. In August 2019, the committee had approved Pakistan’s request to permit Mumbai terror attack mastermind and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed to use his bank account for “basic expenses”.
According to UN Security Council resolutions and committee guidelines, there are provisions for exemptions from the assets freeze. It says member states — in this case, Pakistan — which intend to authorize, where appropriate, access to frozen funds or other financial assets or economic resources can request for exemption. The committee then takes a decision.