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Pakistan cracks down on Hafiz Saeed’s outfits

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JuD, FIF properties seized in PaK, Gilgit, Punjab; passports, gun licenses of associated members cancelled

Islamabad, Mar 09 (PTI) All properties of  Hafiz Saeed’s banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its charity arm have been confiscated in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan while 148 properties were seized in Punjab province during a crackdown on the two organisations, a senior Pakistani official has said.

Interior secretary Arshad Mirza told the Senate Committee on Interior yesterday that the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had confiscated three immovable assets of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)  and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), including hospitals and dispensaries.

The meeting was presided over by Senator Rehman Malik, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported.

Mirza told the committee that the humanitarian organisation Pakistan Red Crescent had been directed to take over seven ambulances associated with the two organisations.

Previously, the committee had sought briefing by the Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs on what measures the government had taken in view of Pakistan’s placement on ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Mirza informed the panel that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the JuD and the FIF were on the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) sanction list as per its resolution number 1267.

Therefore, Pakistan was supposed to impose sanctions against the three outfits, he said.

The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) was also amended through a presidential order for taking action against the three organisations that had been declared proscribed by the UNSC, he added.

The panel members were also informed that in consultation with multiple stakeholders a checklist was prepared and circulated among the stakeholders for taking action against the JuD and the FIF.

Regarding the action against the proscribed organisations, he said the finance ministry was the lead agency.

While highlighting other measures against these outfits, Mirza said the passports of the persons associated with them had been cancelled, a move that had barred them from flying abroad.

Moreover, their weapons’ licenses had also been cancelled and they had been stopped from raising funds as well, he added.

Mirza said a meeting would be held next week in the finance ministry in which representatives of the Financial Action Task Force would also participate.

During this meeting,  he said a reporting mechanism would be designed to satisfy the FATF demands regarding these organisations.

In a FATF meeting in Paris, he said, Pakistan was given three months to satisfy it with regard to measures taken by the country against the organisations declared proscribed by the UNSC.

Besides having international obligations, Pakistan also had some internal obligations, the official said.

However, senators in the parliamentary panel strongly criticised the policy of the successive governments on countering terrorism and radicalisation and urged the government that it was time to look inward and do more for a respectable standing in the comity of nations.

Senator Shahi Syed said Pakistan got a bad name for fighting the CIA-sponsored jihad. He said it was incumbent on Ulema-e-Haq (the true scholars) to confess that a mistake had been committed in the past.

He said Maulana Sami-ul-Haq had been openly claiming that Taliban were like his children, yet two grants of 300 and 270 million rupees were given to his religious seminary Darul Uloom Haqqania by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government.

“If you want to do reforms for madrasas then it should not only be specific to Darul Uloom Haqqania. It should be for all religious seminaries,” he said.

Minister of State for Interior Tallal Chaudry said that matters needed to be reviewed if the international community was not ready to buy Pakistan’s narrative even as the country massively suffered during the war against terror.

“You can’t fool the world. It’s better to get along with the rest of the world,” Chaudhry stated.

Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said Pakistan committed mistakes one after the other in the first and second round of the war in Afghanistan.

He said no proscribed organisation should be allowed to work with a different name.

“We are still in a state of denial; not ready to identify the mistakes. We term the banned outfits as Jihadi organisations,” he stated.

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