Pak launches crackdown on banned organisations

Wednesday 13th March 2019 02:40 EDT

Islamabad: Facing international pressure following the cross-border terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama, Pakistan launched a crackdown on banned organisations, which are fuelling terrorism in the region. A total of 44 members of such outfits were detained, including Mufti Abdur Rauf, the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar. Along with Rauf, Azhar's son Hamza Azhar has also been reportedly detained. The action comes in the backdrop of Pakistan issuing a fresh pledge before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), assuring curbs against outfits and individuals proscribed by the top global body. A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman said that now onwards all kinds of assets and properties of all (banned) organisations will be in the government’s control.

Lahore HQ of JuD sealed

Two days after banning the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Pakistani authorities sealed the Lahore headquarters of the two Hafiz Saeed-led outfits." Under the National Action Plan (NAP), the government has taken control of the banned JuD and FIF headquarters in Lahore and Muridkey," the Punjab Home department said. It said the government has been taking over the control of the mosques, seminaries and other institutions of the banned organisations in the province. A government official said that the authorities have sealed the Jamia Masjid Qadsia, the Lahore headquarters of the JuD and FIF. The official said the government has also taken over the complete control of the JuD headquarters in Muridke. The Mumbai terror attack mastermind has also been barred from delivering the weekly Friday sermon at JuD’s Lahore headquarters.

UN rejects Saeed’s plea

Meanwhile, the United Nations has rejected an appeal of Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, to remove his name from its list of banned terrorists. The decision came at a time when UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to ban Azhar after the Pulwama terror attack. The UN decision to reject appeal of Saeed came after India provided detailed evidence, including "highly confidential information" about his activities, sources said.

Saeed was banned on December 10, 2008 by the United Nations Security Council after the Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed. Saeed had filed an appeal with the UN through Lahore-based law firm Mirza and Mirza in 2017, while he was still under house arrest in Pakistan, for removal of the ban.

Independent Ombudsperson Daniel Kipfer Fasciati, appointed by the UN to examine all such requests, has informed Saeed's lawyer that it has been decided following examination of his request that that he will "continue as a listed individual," sources said.

Azhar faces no travel ban

Unlike Saeed, Azhar faces no travel ban and assets freeze despite JeM being a UN-designated terrorist outfit, mainly due to China’s refusal to back any proposal for a UNSC ban. After its attempts to mainstream Saeed in politics, Islamabad sought to help him get his name removed from the sanctions list by blocking a visit by the UN ombudsman to Pakistan, according to government sources. This was apparently to prevent Saeed from coming face-to-face with the ombudsman.

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