The Pakistan government has said the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) is not banned as the UN has not shared any evidence to establish that the group headed by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed is linked to the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
A written reply provided by interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to a question in the Senate or upper house of parliament on Tuesday said the JuD is only “under observation” for any “suspect activity”.
Following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the UN Security Council and the US declared the JuD a front for the LeT and imposed sanctions on the Lahore-based organisation.
The Pakistan government imposed some restrictions on the JuD and detained Saeed and several other leaders for a few months after the assault on India’s financial hub but authorities never issued a notification to ban the group.
Read: Pakistan minister says there’s no reason to ban Hafiz Saeed’s JuD
Chaudhry’s response in the Senate said the JuD is “engaged in charity and social work, operating hospitals, clinics, schools, ambulance service and religious institutions”.
Indian and US officials have said there is evidence linking LeT and JuD leaders to the Mumbai carnage and Delhi has been insisting on the prosecution of the seven men arrested for the attacks, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
But Chaudhry’s reply said: “UNSCR (UN Security Council Resolution) has listed Jamaat-ud-Dawa as an alias of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Supporting evidence has not been shared with Pakistan to establish such connection. Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been on observation orders under Section 11D of the Anti-Terrorism Act since 15 November 2003.
“Their activities are mentioned by law enforcement agencies. If report of activity that fulfils requirements of Section 11B of the Anti-Terrorism Act is presented, the organisation shall be proscribed.”
Under Section 11B, an organisation is banned if the government has reasons to believe it is linked to terrorism.
The minister’s reply further said that JuD’s offices were closed in 2008 and 2010 but “relief was given by the Lahore High Court”.
Chaudhry, however, said in the reply that any banned organisation like the LeT is “prohibited from any and all activities, including charity work under any different name”.
He added that the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation too had been listed by the UN Security Council as a front for the LeT but did not say if it was under observation.
The interior minister provided the information in response to a question from Senator Farhatullah Babar, a senior leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, on the status of the JuD and whether the JuD was a “resurrection of a banned organisation”.
He said two other charities – Khuddam-ul-Islam and Jamaat-ul-Furqan – had been banned by the government for having been formed in place of the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
He added Al-Akhtar Trust and Al-Rasheed Trust had been listed by the UN Security Council and Al-Rehmat Trust and Al-Anfaal Trust by the US for their alleged links with the JeM.